Repeated Sprint Ability: The influence of aerobic capacity on energy pathway response and fatigue of hockey players

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Repeated Sprint Ability: The influence of aerobic capacity on energy pathway response and fatigue of hockey players

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An important factor for success in repeated sprint sports is a player's ability to produce power; the player that is quicker to the ball or faster off the line will often beat their opponent, giving them an advantage. Competitions for these sports, however, take place over the period of several hours and are divided into quarters, halves, or periods; each of these consisting of numerous maximal-work bouts interspersed with relatively short recovery periods. The ability to repeatedly produce high power outputs throughout a competition gives a competitive edge to a player over his/her opponent and is an important fitness component in repeated sprint sports. This ability has come to be known as repeated-sprint ability (RSA).Research has found athletes with higher VO2peak's to have an improved RSA. While there is research specific to the relationship in field-based team sports (e.g. rugby and soccer) there is very little published on the sport of ice hockey. This dissertation aimed to eliminate the shortfalls of the current research by addressing this population-specific void. The first study, "Aerobic Capacity is Associated with Improved Repeated Shift Performance in Hockey," established a foundation for future RSA research to build on by 1) accounting for task-specificity by obtaining players' VO2peak on a skating treadmill using a graded exercise test; and 2) evaluate RSA using an on-ice test, developed to mimic the motor patterns typically performed by hockey players during competition. The second study, "Division I Hockey Players Generate More Power than Division III Players During On- and Off-ice Performance Tests," established baseline, normative data for hockey players for both on- and off-ice performance tests; stratified by level of play. Finally, the third study, "Off-Ice Anaerobic Power is Not a Good Predictor of On-ice Repeated Shift Performance in Hockey Players," challenges both the scientific and sporting community to re-evaluate the emphasis placed on anaerobic power during off-ice player testing. The results of these studies could have important implications for the training and evaluation methods used by scientists, coaches, and players to prepare for the competitive season.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: Eric Michael Snyder. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 137 pages, appendices p. 133-137.

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Peterson, Benjamin James. (2014). Repeated Sprint Ability: The influence of aerobic capacity on energy pathway response and fatigue of hockey players. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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