Drake Dillman, Ryan Albino, Caroline Vincenty, Alex Miller, Alexa J. Chandler, Harry P. Cintineo, Bridget A. McFadden, Shawn M. Arent, FACSM. University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

INTER-LIMB ASYMMETRIES, PEAK POWER, AND INTERNAL TRAINING LOADS IN NCAA DIVISION I FEMALE SOCCER ATHLETES Dillman, D., Albino, R., Vincenty, C., Miller, A., Chandler, A.J., Cintineo, H.P., McFadden, B.A., Arent, S.M. BACKGROUND: Periodic testing and workload monitoring throughout a competitive season can help athletes and coaches periodize training to optimize performance. In particular, vertical jump testing to assess peak power and inter-limb asymmetries can be used to monitor athlete-readiness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between internal training loads (TL), asymmetry rates, and peak power throughout a soccer season. METHODS: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I female soccer players (N=21) were evaluated at all practices and games using a team-based heart rate monitoring system (Firstbeat Sports, Jyvaskyla, Finland) to assess TL via Banister’s training impulse score (TRIMP). At the beginning of each week, athletes performed a dynamic warmup followed by maximal bilateral (CMJ) and single leg (SL) countermovement vertical jump tests using a hands-on-hips method assessed via a digital contact mat. The best of two trials were used for each jump test. An asymmetry index (ASY) was calculated by dividing dominant by non-dominant SL height. A linear mixed effects model was used to assess changes in CMJ, ASY, and TRIMP throughout the season. Repeated measure correlations were used to determine relationships between weekly changes in TRIMP, CMJ and ASY using an absolute ASY score. Significance was set at p<0.05 RESULTS: Time main effects were observed for weekly changes in TRIMP (p<0.001) and CMJ (p=0.01) over the season. No changes in ASY were observed (p=0.09). There was a significant weak correlation between CMJ and ASY (r=0.17; p=0.04), but no other relationships between TRIMP, CMJ, and ASY (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Changes in internal workloads and peak power were apparent throughout the season and may influence athlete readiness. Although no changes in ASY were seen, a significant inverse correlation between ASY and peak power was observed, which may impact on-field performance. Declines in peak power along with higher asymmetry rates have been associated with injury risk. Systematic monitoring and periodized testing may aid in athlete-management strategies to mitigate these risks.

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