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Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award

5-2014

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

William A. Sands

Committee Members

Satoshi Mizuguchi, Michael W. Ramsey, Michael H. Stone

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to determine if a periodized strength and conditioning program resulted in long-term adaptations in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball athletes, and if these changes related to the team’s competitive performance. Specifically, this dissertation serves to: 1.) describe the changes in body composition and performance variables of 2 female volleyball athletes over a 4-year collegiate career, 2.) determine the degree and magnitude of change in performance variables after about 1, 2, and 3 years of periodized resistance training, and 3.) infer if volleyball performance characteristics are related to a team’s competitive success. The following are major findings of this dissertation. 1.) Positive changes in vertical jump height, strength, and explosiveness may be possible throughout 4 years of collegiate volleyball training even with increased body mass and percent body fat. Moreover, impaired ability to perform heavy lower-body resistance training exercises due to chronic injury negatively impacts long-term physical performance adaptations over 4 years. 2.) A combination of traditional resistance training exercises and weightlifting variations at various loads, in addition to volleyball practice, appear to be effective at increasing maximal strength by 44% and vertical jump height by 20%-30% in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball athletes after about two and half years of training. Furthermore, these characteristics can be improved in the absence of additional plyometric training outside of normal volleyball-specific practice. 3.) A rating percentage index RPI ranking ratio and unweighted match score ratio appear to be better predictors of overall team competitive season success than a weighted match score ratio. On the contrary, a weighted match score ratio may be better for determining an association between team match performance and volleyball-specific fitness. A considerable amount of research is needed to develop a volleyball-specific performance index that best quantifies team performance and whether or not a measurable association exists between improved fitness characteristics and increased overall team competitive success. The findings of this dissertation provide evidence that analyzing and monitoring volleyball-related performance variables over time can assist the sport performance group in making training based decisions as well as promote the successful development of an athlete.

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Only

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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