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Project Title: Performance Changes in a Division III Female Field Hockey Program Over a Competitive Season
Mentor: Andrew Busch
Athletics is a common source of muscle imbalances due to the repetitive movements performed in a sport. Muscle imbalances can create movement asymmetries between opposing muscles in the body that can cause overuse injuries or alter sport performance. In the sport of field hockey, athletes encounter repetitive movements on one side of their body due to the nature of the sport. The purpose of this study was to analyze the change in functional movement, balance performance, and power output throughout a competitive field hockey season. Eighteen field hockey athletes (mean age = 19.3 ± 1.2 years) were assessed in several different functional movement and performance measures including functional movement patterns, balance, and power pre and post competitive season. The pre and post data was compared and analyzed by running paired t-tests using SPSS software. 14 of the 18 athletes completed both the pre and post testing. Results showed there were significant changes in balance performance throughout the season. There were significant increases in left side COP excursion area (t = -7.185, P < 0.05) and right side COP excursion area (t= --7.853, P < 0.05). There were significant increases AP velocity (left: t = -9.846, P< 0.05, right: t = -10.945, P < 0.05), and ML velocity (left: t = -4.537, P = 0.001, right: t = -6.342, P < 0.05). There were significant decreases in the Lumbar Locked thoracic ROM assessment (left: t = 3.605, P = 0.004, right: t = 3.281, P = 0.007). Balance performance significantly increased, and thoracic ROM decreased after a competitive season. There were no significant changes in power performance, FMS deep squat scores, or total SFMA scores throughout the season. These findings suggest that balance and spine ROM alter due to the demands of a collegiate field hockey season.