Fonte: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, in press, 2020
The aim of this study was to compare the performance of elite female players from three different sports in linear sprint and change of direction (COD) tests and examine their efficiency for changing direction through the calculation of the COD deficit (i.e., the difference in velocity between a linear sprint and a COD task of equal distance). One-hundred and fifty-four elite players (rugby, n= 40, National Team members; soccer, n= 57 and handball n= 57, first division players from the respective Brazilian National Championships) were assessed in the 20-m linear sprint and Zigzag COD tests. A One-way analysis of variance with a Tukey post-hoc was used to detect between-sport differences. Female rugby sevens players achieved faster sprint velocities than handball (20-m: 6.21 ± 0.24 m.s-1; 6.07 ± 0.27 m.s-1, respectively; P < 0.05) and soccer players (5-m: 4.71 ± 0.26 m.s-1 vs. 4.51 ± 0.20 m.s-1; and 20-m: 6.08 ± 0.19 m.s-1; P < 0.05) and exhibited the greatest COD deficits (2.95 ± 0.25 m.s-1; 2.69 ± 0.19 m.s-1; 2.82 ± 0.17 m.s-1, for rugby, handball, and soccer, respectively; P < 0.05). Handball players outperformed all other athletes in the Zigzag test (3.38 ± 0.15 m.s-1; 3.26 ± 0.10 m.s-1; 3.26 ± 0.10 m.s-1, for handball, rugby, and soccer, respectively; P < 0.05) but presented the lowest COD deficits (P < 0.05). Furthermore, soccer players displayed inferior sprint momentum when compared to the other sports (P < 0.05). Linear sprint and COD ability differ significantly among elite female athletes from different team-sports, with handball players exhibiting a greater COD speed and efficiency to change direction, with respect to their maximum sprint velocity. The between-sport differences observed suggest that specific training and game demands may affect both sprint and COD performance.