An Examination of Preactivity and Postactivity Stretching Practices of Crosscountry and Track and Field Distance Coaches

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Judge, LW, Petersen, JC, Bellar, DM, Craig, BW, Wanless, EA, Benner, M, and Simon, LS. An examination of preactivity and postactivity stretching practices of crosscountry and track and filed distance coaches. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2456–2464, 2013—This study sought to determine the effectiveness of coach certification courses in promoting proper preactivity and postactivity stretching practices in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, II, and III crosscountry programs. Distribution of questionnaires to 770 NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III programs in the U.S.A. resulted in 111 coaches (88 [78.2%] men and 25 [21.8%] women) participating. Chi-square analyses revealed that noncertified coaches reported significantly greater (χ2 = 21.582, p = 0.0174) usage of static stretching alone as their preactivity modality (18.9%, n = 9) vs. their certified counterparts (1.8%, n = 1). In addition, certified coaches reported a higher usage of dynamic flexibility only during the preactivity period (47.4%, n = 27) vs. their noncertified peers (32.4%, n = 16). Coaches were also asked if they allowed for static stretching between interval work and events in track and field, and a significantly higher percentage (χ2 = 11.948, p = 0.0177) of noncertified coaches (45.5%, n = 23) reported allowing the athletes to perform static stretches between intervals at practice than certified peers (37.9%, n = 22). These significant differences help demonstrate that coaching certification courses are an effective tool for communicating current information about stretching practices. However, the results also revealed that there are still many certified coaches who are not implementing best practices in preactivity routines.

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