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The effects of balance training on dynamic balance capabilities in the elite Australian rules footballer

Larcom, Adam (2013) The effects of balance training on dynamic balance capabilities in the elite Australian rules footballer. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.

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Abstract

The ability to balance on a single leg is a major requirement for many skills in Australian Rules football. At present there is no other research evaluating dynamic single leg balance ability of an elite AFL team over an entire football season. Therefore this study investigated changes in dynamic single leg balance capabilities of an elite Australian Rules football team with the introduction of a comprehensive balance training program, over an entire 44 week pre-season and competition season. Single leg balance was tested before, during (10 weeks) and after the training program (44 weeks), by placing a wobble board placed on top of a force plate and measuring various parameters of centre of pressure (COP) movement. The balance training program included wobble board training and other balance exercises, and core stability exercises. These were performed in addition to normal football training. Of an initial eligible group of twentyfive players, fourteen subjects remained free of football-related injuries and completed all three tests and the full training program, with a mean (SD) age of 22 (2.4) years, body mass 88 kg (8) and height 188.9 cm (7). To establish which COP parameters were reliable for assessment of the balance training program, reliability testing found the following ICC3,1 above 0.800, Mean COP medial lateral (ML) displacement (0.841), COP displacement (0.837), COP ML path SD (0.843) and COP 95% confidence ellipse area (0.852). Results of the training study found a significant reduction in measures of centre of pressure sway after 10 weeks and 44 weeks: COP 95% confidence ellipse area (p=0.00), Mean COP ML displacement (p=0.01), COP displacement (p=0.00) and COP ML path SD (p=0.00) all decreased (p<0.05). Percentage improvement ranged from approximately 13% to 25% (Mean COP ML displacement and COP 95% confidence ellipse area, respectively) for pre-test compared to post test one after 10 weeks of training, and from approximately 27% to 50% (Mean COP ML displacement and COP 95% confidence ellipse area, respectively) for pre-test compared to post test two at 44 weeks. This research shows that balance training incorporating wobble board and core stability exercises, in addition to normal football training, can improve balance over an entire elite Australian Rules football season.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Additional Information:

Master of Applied Science

Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian football, footballers, Australia
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: VU Library
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 07:37
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 17:12
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/21723
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