Metaxas, TI, Koutlianos, N, Sendelides, T, and Mandroukas, A. Preseason physiological profile of soccer and basketball players in different divisions. J Strength Cond Res 23(6): 1704-1713, 2009-The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the cardiorespiratory performance and isokinetic muscle strength between Greek soccer and basketball players of different divisions before starting the training season. Study participants included 100 soccer players and 61 basketball players, who were assigned according to the kind of sport and division. All participants underwent anthropometric measurements and performed an exercise test on a treadmill to determine maximal oxygen uptake (V̇o2max). Peak torque for quadriceps and hamstring muscles was measured on isokinetic dynamometer at angular velocity of 60 degrees/s−1, 180 degrees/s−1, and 300 degrees/s−1. The statistical p value was set at p < 0.05.
In soccer players V̇o2max in absolute and relative values was significantly lower in division IV compared to the other 3 divisions (3,413.4 ± 351.0 vs. 3,932.7 ± 551.2, 4,172.7 ± 371.8, 4,223.0 ± 323.8 ml·min−1, respectively; p < 0.001 and 46.93 ± 4.20 vs. 52.47 ± 3.66, 54.86 ± 3.80, 55.32 ± 3.33 ml·kg·min−1, respectively; p < 0.001). Basketball players presented significantly higher V̇o2max, in absolute values, compared to soccer players for divisions II (4,586.3 ± 586.3 vs. 4,172.7 ± 371.8 ml·min−1; p < 0.05), III (4,319.6 ± 418.6 vs. 3,932.7 ± 551.2 ml·min−1; p < 0.01), and IV (4,624.0 ± 627.6 vs. 3,413.4 ± 351.0 ml·min−1; p < 0.001), respectively. Regarding peak torque, only basketball players showed significantly higher values at 60 degrees/sec−1 in hamstrings for III (p < 0.05) and IV division (p < 0.05).
Conclusively, the higher V̇o2max reached by professional soccer and basketball players compared to semiprofessional and amateur ones and between the soccer and basketball players of the same division can be attributed to the different duration of the maintenance period and to the effect of the training session on each sport, respectively. Finally, a higher level of muscle strength would be preferable in soccer and basketball and would reduce the risk for injuries in the maintenance and rebuilding training periods.