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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2010 September;63(3):343-51

language: English, Italian

Physiological characteristics of elite Greek female soccer players

Nikolaidis P. T.

Laboratory of Exercise Physiology Physical and Cultural Education, Hellenic Military Academy, Vari, Attiki, Greece


Aim. Assessment of elite athletes’ physiological characteristics is necessary in order to develop proper training, talent detection and identification programs. Since women’s soccer is just at the beginning, there are no data available on elite players. Aim of this study was to investigate anthropometric and physiological characteristics of elite Greek female soccer players.
Methods. Forty-five members of two division I teams participated in our study during their routine health-related and sport-related fitness screening.
Results. Body fat was 22.65±1.91%, players’ somatotype mesomorphic endomorph (5.2-4.9-1.9) and work capacity in heart rate 170 was 2.13±0.47 W.kg-1. Peak anaerobic power was 9.65±0.58 W.kg-1, fatigue index 46.3±7.75% (Wingate test), whilst maximal anaerobic power was 12.39±1.41 W.kg-1, maximal force 163.81±30.56 N and maximal velocity 185.03±11.77 revolutions per minute (force-velocity test). Starters players had lower % body fat (21.8% vs. 24.27%, t43=-2.23, P<0.05), and higher work capacity in heart rate 170 (2.3 W.kg-1 vs. 1.98 W.kg-1, t43=2.36, P<0.05) and peak anaerobic power (9.87 W.kg-1 vs. 9.43 W.kg-1, t40=2.31, P<0.05) than substitutes.
Conclusion. Our findings confirmed previous suggestions about the good aerobic and anaerobic profile of women’s soccer. However, what is novel is the quantification of this physiological profile in elite Greek players and the role of physical fitness on starters’ selection.

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