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

Nakamura, Fábio Y.3,5,6; Rodríguez-Fernández, Alejandro1,2,3; Sanchez-Sanchez, Javier1,3; Ramirez-Campillo, Rodrigo3,4; Rodríguez-Marroyo, Jose A.1; Villa-Vicente, J. Gerardo1,3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 18, 2017 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
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© 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.

1Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of León, León, Spain

2Faculty of Physical Activity Sciences and Sports. University Isabel I, Burgos, Spain

3Research Group Planning and Assessment of Training and Athletic Performance, Pontifical University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.

4Department of Physical Activity Sciences, Research Nucleus in Health, Physical Activity and Sport, University of Los Lagos, Osorno, Chile.

5Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara.

6The College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia.

Corresponding author: Fabio Y. Nakamura, PhD Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini, 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy.

The authors disclose funding received for this work from any of the following organizations: National Institutes of Health (NIH); Welcome Trust; Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); and other(s).

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.