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Influence of recovery modalities on team sport performance, perceptions and physiological variables

Juliff, Laura E. (2011) Influence of recovery modalities on team sport performance, perceptions and physiological variables. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Purpose: In order to cope with the demands and stress of training and competition many team sports have begun to utilise contrast water therapy as their preferred recovery modality. Although popular, there may be an inability to access necessary facilities when at sporting venues or overseas therefore contrast showers may prove to be a convenient, accessible and effective alternative. Research examining the influence of contrast showers on sport performance and psychological and physiological variables is lacking. Therefore, this study sought to examine the effects of contrast showers and contrast water therapy on vertical jump and repeated agility performance, skin and core temperature and psychological measures following a netball specific circuit in elite female netball players.

Methods: Eleven elite netball players completed three experimental sessions (randomised crossover design) followed by one of three post-exercise recovery interventions; (1) contrast water therapy (CWT, 38ºC and 15ºC), (2) contrast showers (CS, 38ºC and 18ºC) and (3) passive recovery (PAS, seated rest 20ºC). For each trial, participants performed a fatiguing netball specific circuit followed by one of the recovery interventions. Repeated agility, repeated vertical jump, skin and core temperature and muscle soreness were measured before, immediately after, 5 hours post and 24 hours post-exercise.

Results: No significant differences (p> 0.05) were evident between conditions for exercise performance (vertical jump, repeated agility). Post-exercise CWT and CS provided similar cooling effects through decreased skin temperature (Tskin) results and a delayed drop in core temperature (Tcore) of (-1.0%) when compared to a passive condition. Perceived perceptions overall were greater in the CWT (18.95 ± 13.77) and CS (17.70 ± 12.98) conditions when compared with a passive recovery (72.80 ± 14.26). Furthermore, a significant (P<0.001) change in perception of CS recovery conditions was observed pre and post condition indicating a significant favourable change in perception.

Conclusion: Although no improvements in performance were noted after CWT or CS, neither modality negatively influenced performance. Furthermore, both CWT and CS resulted in faster cooling responses and greater perceptions of recovery when compared with passive sitting. For this reason, it is suggested that CWT and CS are viable recovery modalities that can be used to help increase recovery in netballers after intense training or competition scenarios.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Chiropractic and Sports Science
Supervisor(s): Halson, S. and Peiffer, Jeremiah
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