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Repeated Sprint Ability in Young Soccer Players at Different Game Stages

Meckel, Yoav1; Einy, Avner1; Gottlieb, Roni1; Eliakim, Alon1,2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 9 - p 2578–2584
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000383
Original Research

Abstract: Meckel, Y, Einy, A, Gottlieb, R, and Eliakim, A. Repeated sprint ability in young soccer players at different game stages. J Strength Cond Res 28(9): 2578–2584, 2014—The purpose of this study was to determine the repeated sprint ability (RSA) of young (16.9 ± 0.5 years) soccer players at different game stages. Players performed repeated sprint test (RST) (12 × 20 m) after warm-up before a game, at half-time, and after a full soccer game, each on a different day, in a random order. The ideal (fastest) sprint time (IS) and total (accumulative) sprint time (TS) were significantly slower at the end of the game compared with those after the warm-up before the game (p < 0.01 for each). Differences between IS and TS after the warm-up before the game and at half-time, and between half-time and end of the game, were not statistically significant. There was no significant difference in the performance decrement during the RST after warm-up before the game, at half-time, or the end of the game. Significant negative correlation was found between predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2 and the difference between TS after the warm-up before the game and the end of the game (r = −0.52), but not between predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2 and the difference in any of the RST performance indices between warm-up before the game and half-time, or between half-time and the end of the game. The findings indicate a significant RSA reduction only at the end but not at the half-time of a soccer game. The results also suggest that the contribution of the aerobic system to soccer intensity maintenance is crucial, mainly during the final stages of the game.

1Life Science Department, Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Wingate Institute, Israel; and

2Pediatric Department, Child Health and Sport Center, Meir Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Address correspondence to Yoav Meckel, meckel@wincol.ac.il.

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.