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Relationship between repeated sprint ability, aerobic capacity, intermittent endurance and heart rate recovery in youth soccer players.

Nakamura, Fábio Y.; Rodríguez-Fernández, Alejandro; Sanchez-Sanchez, Javier; Ramirez-Campillo, Rodrigo; Rodríguez-Marroyo, Jose A.; Villa-Vicente, J. Gerardo
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: August 18, 2017
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002193
Original Research: PDF Only

To investigate the relationship between repeated sprint ability (RSA) and several aerobic and anaerobic-related soccer-performance indicators, 45 youth soccer players (age 16.8+/-0.1 y) were classified into "high" (HAF) or "low" (LAF) aerobic fitness (VO2max >= or <60 mL[BULLET OPERATOR]kg-1[BULLET OPERATOR]min-1, respectively) and completed a RSA test measuring best (RSAbest), mean (RSAmean), total sprint time (RSAtotal) and percent sprint decrement (Sdec). A laboratory VO2max test (LabTest) together with anaerobic threshold (VT) and peak speed were measured (vLabTest). In addition, a 20-m multi-stage shuttle run (MSRT) and a soccer-specific test (TIVRE-Soccer(C) test - TST) were completed. Heart rate (HR) and HR recovery (HRR) were measured during all tests. HAF presented greater (p<0.05) performance in LabTest, MSRT and TST, at maximal effort, at VT, as well as faster HRR. RSA was similar between HAF and LAF. Contrary to HAF, LAF showed negative correlation between vLabTest with RSAmean (r = -0.6, p = 0.000) and Sdec (r =-0.4, p = 0.04). Also, LAF showed negative correlation between TST end speed and RSAmean (r = -0.5, p = 0.005) and Sdec (r = -0.5, p = 0.003). In HAF, RSA was strongly correlated with locomotor factors (e.g., vTST; VT) in both laboratory and field test. Athletes with high total HRR (>12.5 %) in TST presented better (p < 0.05) Sdec in RSA test. The multiple regression revealed that LAF vLabTest explained 44.9, 40.0 and 13.5% of the variance in RSAbest, RSAmean and Sdec, respectively. Practitioners may consider these findings to optimize youth athlete's assessment and preparation processes.

Copyright (C) 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.