Grip strength of college and professional football players

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Although strength is basic to human performance in sport, the relationship between grip strength and playing performance has not been clearly established. Therefore, it was the purpose of this study to determine the correlation between grip strength and football playing performance at college and professional levels of competition. The subjects of the investigation were 40 members of an NCAA (Division III) football learn and 53 members of an NFL football team. The college players ranged in age from 19 to 22 y. Their mean height was 182·4cm and their average weight was 89·8kg. The professional players ranged in age from 22 to 37y. Their mean height was 188·3cm and their average weight was 99·2 kg. They had an average of 5·5y playing experience in the NFL. Eight of the players had achieved all-pro honours. Grip strength was measured with a tensiometer (Model T5, Pacific Scientific Co., Anaheim, California). The criterion measure was the best score of the three trials for dominant and non-preferred hand. Coaches ranked players from best to poorest on playing performance, according to position played. A t-test for independent samples was used to test the significance of mean grip strength scores for offensive and defensive units for the college and professional team. A statistically significant difference (p0001) was found between the mean grip strength scores of the offensive units. The professional offensive players, on the average, were significantly stronger than the college offensive players. Significant differences in grip strength were not found between the defensive units. Rank order correlation coefficients were calculated for positions within offensive and defensive units for both college and professional players. Most of these coefficients were negative, indicating an inverse relationship between grip strength and playing performance, as rated by coaches. Mean grip strength scores for the pro players compared favourably with the scores reported by Ishiko (1974) for Japanese Olympic participants in the 1964 Tokyo Games. Based upon these analyses, it was concluded that grip strength was not correlated significantly with football-playing performance. © 1979 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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