Goal shooting and shoulder soreness

The following presentation was made by Tamara Kefford as part of a final seminar for the Sport Studies (Honours) program within UCNISS.

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Shoulder soreness is the most common musculoskeletal complaint in water polo athletes. Although there is the suggestion that repetitive throwing is a determinant to shoulder soreness in water polo, it has not been demonstrated empirically. The aim of this study was to relate shoulder soreness scores with the volume and frequency of goal shooting in high performance women's water polo

Seven water polo athletes selected from a national women's squad were monitored across two camps. Information on the volume and frequency of shots were observed for each athlete using a time-motion analysis system.

The data were subject to inter-operator reliability testing for observed variables. The data were analysed using Residual Maximal Likelihood (REML). 74% of shoulder soreness was explained (R2 0.743). The variances between individual athletes account for 71.08% of shoulder soreness prediction with athletes 4 and 7 presenting with less shoulder soreness than the rest of the group (p=0.0340 and p=0.0108 respectively).

 The contribution of random effects accounts for 28.93% of shoulder soreness prediction. Significant increases in shoulder soreness were found with increased shot counts (p=0.0127).

The interaction between the number of shots and camp was a significant predictor of shoulder soreness (p=0.002) with shoulder soreness scores significantly higher in May.

The interaction between the number of shots, camp and average rest between shots was also a significant predictor (p= 0.0317), with shoulder soreness scores increasing with lesser rest time in May, and with greater rest time in August.

The quantity of goal shooting explains a significant proportion of shoulder soreness in water polo athletes. The greatest proportion of variance in shoulder soreness is dependant on differences between individual athletes. The volume and frequency of goal shooting affects shoulder soreness scores differently according to camp.
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