Concurrent Validity and Reliability of Sprinting Force–Velocity Profile Assessed With GPS Devices in Elite Athletes

Clavel, P., Leduc, C., Morin, J.-B., Owen, C.

Purpose: The aims of this study were to (1) assess the concurrent validity of global positioning systems (GPSs) against a radar device to measure sprinting force-velocity (F-v) profiles and (2) evaluate the interunit reliability of 10-Hz GPS devices (Vector S7, Catapult Innovations).

Methods: Sixteen male elite U18 rugby union players (178.3 [7.6] cm; 78.3 [13.2] kg) participated. Two 50-m sprints interspersed with at least 5 minutes of recovery were completed to obtain input (maximal sprint speed and acceleration time constant τ) and output (theoretical maximal horizontal force, sprinting speed, and horizontal power) F-v profile variables. Sprint running speed was concurrently measured with a radar and 2 GPS units placed on the upper back of each player. Concurrent validity and interunit reliability analyses were performed.

Results: Moderate to nearly perfect correlations were observed between radar and GPS-derived F-v variables, with small to large typical errors. Trivial to small coefficients of variation were found regarding the GPS interunit reliability.

Conclusion: The GPS devices tested in this study represent a valid and reliable alternative to a radar device when assessing sprint acceleration F-v profiles in team-sport players.

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