Meckel, Y, Gefen, Y, Nemet, D, and Eliakim, A. Influence of short vs. long repetition sprint training on selected fitness components in young soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 26(7): 1845–1851, 2012—The aim of this study was to compare the effect of short-sprint repetition and long-sprint repetition training (SST, LST), matched for total distance, on selected fitness components in young soccer players. Thirty young (14–15 years) soccer players were randomly assigned to either the short-sprint training group or long-sprint training group and completed 2 similar sets of fitness tests before and after 7 weeks of training. The 2 training programs consisted of SST (4–6 sets of 4 × 50-m all-out sprint) and LST (4–6 sets of 200-m run at 85% of maximum speed), each performed 3 times a week. Before training, there were no baseline between-group differences in predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, standing long jump, 30-m sprint time, 4 × 10-m shuttle running time, and 250-m running time. Both training programs led to a significant improvement in V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (predicted from the 20-m shuttle run, p < 0.01), with no between-group difference (p = 0.14). Both training programs also led to a significant improvement in the anaerobic fitness variables of 30-m sprint time (p < 0.01), 4 × 10-m shuttle running time (p < 0.01), and 250-m running time (p < 0.01), with no between-group differences. Neither of the training programs had a significant effect on standing long jump (p = 0.21). The study showed that long, near-maximal sprints, and short, all-out sprint training, matched for total distance, are equally effective in enhancing both the aerobic and anaerobic fitness of young soccer players. Therefore, to maintain a player's training interest and enthusiasm, coaches may alternate between these methods during the busy soccer season.
1Life Science Department, Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Wingate Institute, Israel
2Pediatric Department, Child Health and Sport Center, Meir Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Address correspondence to Dr. Alon Eliakim, email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.