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Effects of a Contrast Training Program Without External Load on Vertical Jump, Kicking Speed, Sprint, and Agility of Young Soccer Players

García-Pinillos, Felipe1; Martínez-Amat, Antonio2; Hita-Contreras, Fidel2; Martínez-López, Emilio J.1; Latorre-Román, Pedro A.1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 9 - p 2452–2460
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000452
Original Research

Abstract: García-Pinillos, F, Martínez-Amat, A, Hita-Contreras, F, Martínez-López, EJ, and Latorre-Román, PA. Effects of a contrast training program without external load on vertical jump, kicking speed, sprint, and agility of young soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 28(9): 2452–2460, 2014—The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a 12-week contrast training (CT) program (isometric + plyometric), with no external loads, on the vertical jump, kicking speed, sprinting, and agility skills of young soccer players. Thirty young soccer players (age, 15.9 ± 1.43 years; weight, 65.4 ± 10.84 kg; height, 171.0 ± 0.06 cm) were randomized in a control group (n = 13) and an experimental group (n = 17). The CT program was included in the experimental group's training sessions, who undertook it twice a week as a part of their usual weekly training regime. This program included 3 exercises: 1 isometric and 2 plyometric, without external loads. These exercises progressed in volume throughout the training program. Performance in countermovement jump (CMJ), Balsom agility test (BAT), 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-m sprint, and soccer kick were assessed before and after the training program. A 2-factor (group and time) analysis of variance revealed significant improvements (p < 0.001) in CMJ, BAT, and kicking speed in the experimental group players. Control group remained unchanged in these variables. Both groups significantly reduced sprint times over 5, 10, 20, and 30 m (p ≤ 0.05). A significant correlation (r = 0.492, p < 0.001) was revealed between ΔBAT and Δaverage kicking speed. Results suggest that a specific CT program without external loads is effective for improving soccer-specific skills such as vertical jump, sprint, agility, and kicking speed in young soccer players.

1Department of Didactics of Corporal Expression, University of Jaen, Jaen, Spain; and

2Department of Health Sciences, University of Jaen, Jaen, Spain

Address correspondence to Felipe García-Pinillos, fegarpi@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.