S. Simmons, D. Bale, & M. Lovely

Corban University, Salem, OR

The financial cost and ability in obtaining long-term improvements in small, collegiate athletics has shown to be difficult. Through the introduction of a required, credit-based class, a small NAIA university has shown improvements in their athletic performance. PURPOSE: To determine if a required, credit-based class would improve athletic performance amongst NAIA collegiate athletes. METHODS: All rostered athletes (2010 year: N = 192; 2011 year: N = 208; 2012 year: N = 204) at a small NAIA university were required to register for a sports conditioning class, beginning in the fall of 2010 to the present. All in-season athletes (15 men’s basketball; 14 women’s basketball; 23 women’s soccer; 18 men’s soccer; 14 golf; 16 track; 29 cross country; 14 volleyball; 40 baseball; 21 softball) met a minimum of 1x/wk and all off-season athletes meet a minimum of 2x/wk. Each sport would perform sports specific programs for 60 minutes on each required day, ranging in skills from Olympic lifts to plyometric training. All athletes are tested in September, December, and April on vertical jump, 20 yard dash, 5-10-5, and body weight. Team records were kept to test improvement. RESULTS: Statistical significant improvements were seen in measurements for athletes, September to December 2012, in increased vertical jump, t (186) = 2.61, p < .01; faster 5-10-5, t (164) = 5.362, p < .001. Soccer improved 20 yard dash significantly, t (14) = 2.785, p < .015. Two years of the program showed an improvement in team records 2009-2010 to 2011-2012 seasons: Baseball from 14-37 (.274) to 28-23 (.549); Softball from 24-23 (.511) to 31-14 (.688); Men’s basketball from 8-21 (.276) to 18-14 (.563); Women’s basketball from 14-13 (.438) to 24-8 (.750); Men’s Soccer from 5-10 (.333) to 11-8 (.611) and Women’s Track 6th in conference to 4th in conference. Other sports saw minimal change: Volleyball 10-17 (.370) to 13-13 (.500). CONCLUSIONS: With a very small financial cost ($3,525/semester for instructors), improvements in record and athletic ability can be achieved. This model can be used at other small universities.

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