Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 239: Vertical Jump Neuromuscular Performance Characteristics Determining On-Court Contribution in Male and Female NCAA Division 1 Basketball Players
Sports doi: 10.3390/sports11120239
Authors: Nicolas M. Philipp Dimitrije Cabarkapa Ramsey M. Nijem Stryder D. Blackburn Andrew C. Fry
While various quantifiable physical attributes have been found to contribute to athletes&rsquo; performance, there is a lack of scientific literature focused on examining how they relate to success during competition performance. The aim of this study was to investigate different countermovement jump (CMJ)-derived force&ndash;time characteristics and their utility in distinguishing high from low performers within a measure of on-court contribution (i.e., minutes per game played). Twenty-nine collegiate athletes (n = 15 males and n = 14 females) volunteered to participate in this investigation and performed CMJs on dual force plates sampling at 1000 Hz, weekly over the course of their basketball season. The athletes&rsquo; average of their three best test-days across the season was used for further analysis. To identify their on-court contribution, athletes were divided into groups with high and low minutes per game, based on a median-split analysis. The findings suggest that at the overall group level (i.e., both genders), the modified reactive strength index (mRSI) and braking rate of force development (RFD) revealed the greatest between-group magnitudes of difference, with athletes playing more minutes per game showing greater performance. At the team-specific level, the braking RFD, average braking velocity, and mRSI were shown to be the greatest differentiators between groups for the men&rsquo;s team. The women&rsquo;s high-minutes group displayed greater magnitudes of mRSI and jump height. By identifying the neuromuscular qualities seen in top performers within their respective populations, the attributed physical performance underpinning these qualities may be identified, providing practitioners with insights into physical performance qualities and training methodologies that have the potential to influence basketball performance.