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A comprehensive prospective analysis of soccer heading among male and female collegiate soccer athletes

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Title: A comprehensive prospective analysis of soccer heading among male and female collegiate soccer athletes
Author: Larson, Elizabeth Anne
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, prospective study of soccer heading and its potential effects among male and female collegiate soccer players. Specifically, this study evaluated individual neck strength and accelerations experienced by the head during bouts of routine soccer heading and examined this information in regard to videorecorded exposure data and neurocognitive performance. The participants for the study included 51 Division-II collegiate soccer players from the Humboldt State University women’s (n=27) and men’s (n=24) (part 1 of study); 13 of them participated in part 2; 7 women, 6 men. All subjects were voluntarily recruited from the Humboldt State University soccer teams. For part 1 of the study, a self-report heading index was administered, pre and post-season neurocognitive (ImPACT) scores were collected, and four randomly selected practices and games were videorecorded for collection of exposure data. In part 2 of the study a handheld dynamometer (BIOPAC) was used to gather neck strength information and a tri-axial accelerometer (G-Link) was used to record accelerations experienced by the head during heading trials in which a soccer ball was ejected from a ball machine at a prescribed rate and trajectory. The results of the study supported the hypothesis that there would be no significant neurocognitive changes after a season of soccer heading for the group as a whole. However, there was a significant difference in visual memory change scores for the “header” group versus the “not a header” group. The hypothesis that there would be significant sex differences in neck strength and heading accelerations was also supported. However, males exhibited greater heading accelerations than females, contrary to initial expectations. Finally, the hypothesis that neck strength would be negatively correlated with heading accelerations was partially supported. Specifically, neck strength was positively correlated with accelerations experienced during flick-on headers. However, a number of additional non-significant trends for sex differences for each neck strength measure by header type were also supported.
Description: Thesis (M.S.)--Humboldt State University, Kinesiology, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/755
Date: 2011-05

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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