The Activity Profile of Men's Gaelic Football
Time-motion analysis has been used to develop an understanding of the physical demands of many field games including Gaelic football. Many time-motion studies claim that training that is specific to the movement patterns observed during competition will be more effective than tradition methods of conditioning training. However, there is little experimental evidence to support these claims. This study, therefore, was an experiment into the effectiveness of a specific intermittent high intensity training programme that was developed from knowledge gained from a previous time-motion investigation into Gaelic football. The nature of high intensity activity in Gaelic football and the development of the specific intermittent high intensity training programme are described. The training programme contained bursts of varying lengths as well as recovery periods of varying lengths that reflected those performed in competition. The training programme was undertaken by an experimental group of 15 under-14 players with a control group of 15 under-14 players performing skill based exercise at a moderate intensity over the experimental period. The subjects of the experimental group improved their multi-stage fitness test performance (P < 0.05), multiple agility run test performance (P < 0.01) and vertical jump performance (P < 0.05) significantly more than the subjects of the control group. There was no significant difference between the two groups for the improvement in 20m sprint performance over the experimental period (P > 0.05). These results provide evidence that the training programme was effective. However, due to the age-group of the subjects, this might be partially explained by psychological factors. Further work is recommended to test the training programme using senior subjects.
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