Ayden K. McInnis, Megan Rush, Thomas Littlefield, Courtney Calci, Paul T. Donahue. University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.

BACKGROUND: The vertical jump task is a critical skill needed in both basketball and volleyball. Jumping has been performed at both maximal and submaximal levels during competition. However, other differences exist between basketball and volleyball in terms of the demands that are placed on the athlete. As such it has been shown that sport-specific demands can alter the strategy used by athletes to achieve a maximal vertical jump performance. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to compare vertical jump performance between sports that have a reliance on the task within competition. METHODS: 29 NCAA Division I female athletes (14 basketball and 15 volleyball) took part in this investigation. All testing occurred as part of a routine athlete monitoring program and all data used was from the first week of the competitive season. Before testing, all participants completed a standardized warm-up. Each participant completed two trials performed on a force platform with a dowel placed across the shoulders. All data from the force platform was collected at 1000 Hz. Variables of interest included jump height, mean force, phase duration, countermovement depth, and reactive strength index modified. Independent samples t-tests were completed for each variable. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were seen in greater mean force (p = 0.04), and faster propulsive duration (p = 0.005) in basketball athletes. Volleyball athletes had a greater countermovement depth (p = 0.002) and jump height (0.04). CONCLUSIONS: The results from this investigation demonstrate differences in the strategy used between the two sports during the vertical jump. As jump height was greater in the volleyball athletes, they appeared to demonstrate a strategy using greater time and less force while basketball athletes used the opposite strategy of high force and short time. This can be explained through the nature of the two sports where basketball has many short duration and reactive movements, while volleyball has more of a timing element to jump which allows for a greater duration during the task. Thus, while both sports require high levels of performance in the same task, the strategy used appears to be different. Training for performance improvement should take this into consideration and programs should be based on the demands of the task within the sport.

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