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Throwing performance in water polo is related to in-water shoulder proprioception.

Authors
  • Hams, Andrea H1, 2, 3
  • Evans, Kerrie3, 4, 5
  • Adams, Roger1
  • Waddington, Gordon1
  • Witchalls, Jeremy1
  • 1 Research Institute for Sport and Exercise, University of Canberra , Canberra , Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 Sport Performance Innovation and Knowledge Excellence unit, Queensland Academy of Sports , Brisbane , Queensland , Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University , Gold Coast , Queensland , Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney , Sydney , New South Wales , Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 Healthia Ltd , Brisbane , Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Sports Sciences
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
37
Issue
22
Pages
2588–2595
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2019.1648987
PMID: 31352872
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Water polo players require a high level of upper-extremity strength, flexibility and coordination to achieve a peak level of throwing performance. Increased levels of shoulder proprioceptive acuity, strength and range of motion (ROM) have been previously associated with higher sporting performance. A coach-rating scale, used to quantify an athlete's kicking proficiency in soccer; was adapted in the current study to measure each coach's subjective expert opinion regarding athletes' throwing mechanics, velocity, and accuracy. To examine this hypothesis shoulder proprioception acuity of 18 water polo players was measured both in-water and on-land using an AMEDA apparatus and correlated with coach-rated throwing performance and clinical measures of shoulder strength and ROM. There was a moderate positive correlation between the in-water and the on-land proprioception acuity (r = 0.47, p < 0.05). The in-water score showing a strong positive correlation with coach rated throwing mechanics (r = 0.68, p < 0.05) and velocity (r = 0.75, p = 0.02), suggesting that superior proprioception acuity contributed to fast, mechanically-efficient throwing. These findings support the notion that in-water proprioceptive acuity is an important determinant of the throwing performance achieved by water polo athletes and its measurement may be a valuable adjunct to current athlete screening.

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