Title

Neuromuscular and Endocrine Responses of Elite Players During an Australian Rules Football Season

Document Type

Journal Article

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

School

Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research

RAS ID

5609

Comments

This article was originally published as: Cormack, S. J., Newton, R. , Mcguigan, M. R., & Cormie, P. (2008). Neuromuscular and Endocrine Responses of Elite Players During an Australian Rules Football Season. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 3(4), 439-453. Original article available here

Abstract

Purpose: To examine variations in neuromuscular and hormonal status and their relationship to performance throughout a season of elite Australian Rules Football (ARF). Methods: Fifteen elite ARF players performed a single jump (CMJ1) and 5 repeated countermovement jumps (CMJ5), and provided saliva samples for the analysis of cortisol (C) and testosterone (T) before the season commenced (Pre) and during the 22-match season. Magnitudes of effects were reported with the effect size (ES) statistic. Correlations were performed to analyze relationships between assessment variables and match time, training load, and performance. Results: CMJ1Flight time:Contraction time was substantially reduced on 60% of measurement occasions. Magnitudes of change compared with Pre ranged from 1.0 ± 7.4% (ES 0.04 ± 0.29) to -17.1 ± 21.8% (ES -0.77 ± 0.81). Cortisol was substantially lower (up to -40 ± 14.1%, ES of -2.17 ± 0.56) than Pre in all but one comparison. Testosterone response was varied, whereas T:C increased substantially on 70% of occasions, with increases to 92.7 ± 27.8% (ES 2.03 ± 0.76). CMJ1Flight time:Contraction time (r = .24 ± 0.13) and C displayed (r = -0.16 ± 0.1) small correlations with performance. Conclusion: The response of CMJ1Flight time:Contraction time suggests periods of neuromuscular fatigue. Change in T:C indicates subjects were unlikely to have been in a catabolic state during the season. Increase in C compared with Pre had a small negative correlation with performance. Both CMJ1Flight time:Contraction time and C may be useful variables for monitoring responses to training and competition in elite ARF athletes.