Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2004) 03, 203 - 210

Research article
Assessment of Linear Sprinting Performance: A Theoretical Paradigm
Todd D. Brown1, Jason D. Vescovi1,2, , Jaci L. VanHeest2
Author Information
1 The Essential Element, LLC, Leesburg, VA 20176, USA
2 Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA

Jason D. Vescovi
‚úČ Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, 2095 Hillside Rd., Unit 1110, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1110, USA
Publish Date
Received: 07-05-2004
Accepted: 03-09-2004
Published (online): 01-12-2004
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The purpose of this manuscript is to describe a theoretical paradigm from which to more accurately assess linear sprinting performance. More importantly, the model describes how to interpret test results in order to pinpoint weaknesses in linear sprinting performance and design subsequent training programs. A retrospective, quasi-experimental cross sectional analysis was performed using 86 Division I female soccer and lacrosse players. Linear sprinting performance was assessed using infrared sensors at 9.14, 18.28, 27.42, and 36.58 meter distances. Cumulative (9.14, 18.28, 27.42, and 36.58 meter) and individual (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 9.14 meter) split times were used to illustrate the theoretical paradigm. Sub-groups were identified from the sample and labelled as above average (faster), average, and below average (slower). Statistical analysis showed each sub-group was significantly different from each other (fast < average < slow). From each sub-group select individuals were identified by having a 36.58 meter time within 0.05 seconds of each other (n = 11, 13, and 7, respectively). Three phases of the sprint test were suggested to exist and called initial acceleration (0-9.14 m), middle acceleration (9.14-27.42 m), and metabolic-stiffness transition (27.42-36.58 m). A new model for assessing and interpreting linear sprinting performance was developed. Implementation of this paradigm should assist sport performance professionals identify weaknesses, minimize training errors, and maximize training adaptations.

Key words: Speed, sprint, sports performance, soccer, lacrosse

           Key Points
  • Assessment of linear sprinting should include splits for a greater understanding of performance.
  • Individual split times can be used to identify specific areas of weakness.
  • Appropriate training strategies can be developed and used to improve the identified weaknesses.
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