Inter-Session Reliability of the Tennis Serve and Influence of the Laboratory Context

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Francois Tubez, Benedicte Forthomme, Jean-Louis Croisier, Olivier Bruls, Vincent Denoël, Julien Paulus, Cedric Schwartz

To meet the demand of a player’s entourage (e.g., coaches and medical staff), it is important for the biomechanics specialist to perform repeatable measures. To the best of our knowledge, to date, it has not been demonstrated whether similar results are obtained between two sessions of testing or between laboratory and field sport kinematic protocols with regard to the tennis serve. This study had two primary aims. First, the inter-session repeatability of biomechanical variables of a tennis serve was evaluated. Second, the differences between laboratory and field evaluations were studied. Thirteen national tennis players (ITN 3) performed the same 28 markers’ set laboratory test twice two weeks apart, and other thirteen national players (ITN 3) performed two 4 markers’ set tests both in the laboratory and on an official tennis court one week apart. A 3D motion system was used to measure lower-limb, pelvis, trunk, dominant arm and racket kinematics. A force plate was used to evaluate kinetics of legs’ drive in the laboratory. A personal method based on a point scoring system was developed to evaluate the ball landing location accuracy. We observed that the majority of the studied variables were acceptable for excellent relative reliability for the inter-session analysis. We also showed that the impact of the laboratory versus field context on the player’s serve was limited
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0064
Key words
repeatability, sport, protocol, test-retest, biomechanics

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