Shooting performance and fly time in highly-trained wing handball players: not everything is as it seems

Karcher C & Buchheit M. Shooting performance and fly time in highly-trained wing handball players: not everything is as it seems. IJSPP 2016

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Abstract

Purpose: The aims of this investigation were to 1) assess the usefulness of counter movement jump (CMJ) testing to predict handball-specific jumping ability and 2) examine the acute effect of transiently- modified jumping ability (i.e., flight time) on shooting efficiency in wing players. Methods: Eleven young highly-trained wing players performed 3 counter movement jumps and 10 typical wing jump shots with 3 different modalities: without any constraint (CONTROL), while stepping on a 14-cm step (STEP) and wearing a weighted vest (VEST, 5% of body mass). Flight time and the associated scoring efficiency during the jump shots were recorded. Results:  There was no clear correlation between jump shot and CMJ flight time, irrespective of the condition (r=0.04-0.18). During jump shots, flight time was most likely longer (ES=1.42-1.97) with VEST (635.4±31 ms) and STEP (615.3±32.9 ms) than CONTROL (566±30.5 ms) and very likely longer with VEST than with STEP (ES=0.6). The correlation between scoring efficiency and jump shot flight time was not substantial both within each modality and for all shots pooled. The difference in scoring efficiency between the 3 jumps with the longest vs. shortest flight times were either small (VEST, 48% vs. 42%) or non-substantial (two other conditions). Conclusions: The use of CMJ as a predictor of handball-specific jumping ability is questioned given the dissociation between CMJ and jump shot flying time. These results also show that transiently-affected flight time may not affect scoring efficiency, which questions the importance of jumping ability for success in wing players.

 Key Words: shooting efficiency; strength training; transfer.

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