Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 82 - 90   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2022.82

Research article
Physiological and Performance Correlates of Squash Physical Performance
Carl James1, , Timothy Jones1, Saro Farra2
Author Information
1 Institut Sukan Negara (National Sports Institute), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Sheridan College, Canada

Carl James
✉ Institut Sukan Negara (National Sports Institute), Bukit Jalil Sport City, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Email: carlalexanderjames@gmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 08-06-2021
Accepted: 23-12-2021
Published (online): 15-02-2022
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ABSTRACT

The physiological and performance attributes of elite squash players were investigated. Thirty-one players (21 males, world ranking [WR] 42-594; 10 females, WR 7-182) completed a battery of fitness tests which included an aerobic squash-specific physical performance test (SPPT), repeated-sprint ability (RSA), change-of-direction speed (COD), acceleration (5-m sprint), body composition and force development (countermovement jump) assessments. The SPPT provided a finishing lap score, V̇O2max, average movement economy and the lap corresponding to a blood lactate concentration of 4 mM.L-1. Players were ranked and assigned to HIGH or LOW performance tiers. Two-way ANOVA (performance level*sex) revealed higher ranked players performed better (p < 0.05) for SPPT final lap (d = 0.35), 4 mM.L-1 lap (d = 0.52) and COD (d = 0.60). SPPT displayed a ‘very-large’ correlation with 4 mM.L-1 lap (r = 0.86), ‘large’ correlations with COD (r = 0.79), RSA (r = 0.79), sum-of-7 skinfolds (r = 0.71) and V̇O2max (r = 0.69), and a ‘trivial’ correlation with average movement economy (r = 0.02). Assessments of cardiovascular fitness (i.e. 4 mM.L-1 lap), RSA, COD and body composition appear highly pertinent for performance profiling of squash players. Regular, submaximal assessment of the 4 mM.L-1 lap during the SPPT may offer a practical athlete monitoring approach for elite squash players.

Key words: Squash, fitness testing, aerobic fitness, sport-specific, squash training


           Key Points
  • A squash-specific aerobic fitness test (SPPT) discriminated between higher and lower ranked squash players across final lap score and the lap corresponding to a blood lactate concentration of 4 mM·L.
  • Assessments of cardiovascular fitness (i.e. 4 mM·L lap), repeated-sprint ability, change of direction speed and body composition appear highly pertinent for performance profiling of squash players.
  • Sub-maximal blood lactate assessments may offer a convenient athlete monitoring approach within squash, negating the need for a larger testing battery.
  • The SPPT offers a standalone assessment of squash physical performance, which can be enhanced with the collection of physiological data for individualized training prescription.
 
 
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