Effects of mixed-method cooling on recovery of medium-fast bowling performance in hot conditions on consecutive days

Geoffrey M Minett, Rob Duffield, Aaron Kellett, Marc Portus
Journal of Sports Sciences 2012, 30 (13): 1387-96
This investigation examined physiological and performance effects of cooling on recovery of medium-fast bowlers in the heat. Eight, medium-fast bowlers completed two randomised trials, involving two sessions completed on consecutive days (Session 1: 10-overs and Session 2: 4-overs) in 31 ± 3°C and 55 ± 17% relative humidity. Recovery interventions were administered for 20 min (mixed-method cooling vs. control) after Session 1. Measures included bowling performance (ball speed, accuracy, run-up speeds), physical demands (global positioning system, counter-movement jump), physiological (heart rate, core temperature, skin temperature, sweat loss), biochemical (creatine kinase, C-reactive protein) and perceptual variables (perceived exertion, thermal sensation, muscle soreness). Mean ball speed was higher after cooling in Session 2 (118.9 ± 8.1 vs. 115.5 ± 8.6 km · h⁻¹; P = 0.001; d = 0.67), reducing declines in ball speed between sessions (0.24 vs. -3.18 km · h⁻¹; P = 0.03; d = 1.80). Large effects indicated higher accuracy in Session 2 after cooling (46.0 ± 11.2 vs. 39.4 ± 8.6 arbitrary units [AU]; P = 0.13; d = 0.93) without affecting total run-up speed (19.0 ± 3.1 vs. 19.0 ± 2.5 km · h⁻¹; P = 0.97; d = 0.01). Cooling reduced core temperature, skin temperature and thermal sensation throughout the intervention (P = 0.001-0.05; d = 1.31-5.78) and attenuated creatine kinase (P = 0.04; d = 0.56) and muscle soreness at 24-h (P = 0.03; d = 2.05). Accordingly, mixed-method cooling can reduce thermal strain after a 10-over spell and improve markers of muscular damage and discomfort alongside maintained medium-fast bowling performance on consecutive days in hot conditions.

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