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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 March;43(1):14-20

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Test performance indicators from a single soccer specific fitness test differentiate between highly trained and recreationally active soccer players

Edwards A. M. 1, Macfadyen A. M. 1, Clark N. 2

1 Physical Education and Sport School of Education, Reading University, Reading, UK 2 Science and Education Officer, Reading Football Club Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berks, UK


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Aim. The aim of ­this ­study was to inves­ti­gate ­whether a ­single ­soccer spe­cific fit­ness ­test (­SSFT) ­could dif­fer­en­tiate ­between ­highly ­trained and recrea­tion­ally ­active ­soccer ­players in ­selected ­test per­for­mance indi­ca­tors.
­Methods. Sub­jects: 13 ­Academy ­Scholars (AS) ­from a pro­fes­sional ­soccer ­club and 10 Rec­re­a­tional ­Players (RP) ­agreed to par­tic­i­pate in ­this ­study. ­Test 1—V. O2 max was esti­mated ­from a pro­gres­sive ­shuttle run ­test to exhaus­tion. ­Test 2—The ­SSFT was con­trolled by an auto­mated pro­ce­dure and alter­nated ­between ­walking, ­sprinting, jog­ging and ­cruise run­ning ­speeds. ­Three ­activity ­blocks (1A, 2A and 3A) ­were sep­ar­ated by 3 min ­rest ­periods in ­which ­blood lac­tate sam­ples ­were ­drawn. The 3 ­blocks of ­activity (­Part A) ­were fol­lowed by 10 min of exer­cise at ­speeds alter­nating ­between jog­ging and ­cruise run­ning (­Part B).
­Results. Esti­mated V. O2 max did not sig­nif­i­cantly ­differ ­between ­groups, ­although a ­trend for a ­higher ­aerobic ­capacity was evi­dent in AS (p<0.09). Exer­cising ­heart ­rates did not ­differ ­between AS and RP, how­ever, ­recovery ­heart ­rates ­taken ­from the 3 min ­rest ­periods ­were sig­nif­i­cantly ­lower in AS com­pared ­with RP fol­lowing ­blocks 1A (124.65 b·min-1 ±7.73 and 133.98 b·min-1 ±6.63), (p<0.05) and 3A (129.91 b·min-1 ±10.21 and 138.85 b·min-1 ±8.70), (p<0.01). ­Blood lac­tate con­cen­tra­tions ­were sig­nif­i­cantly ele­vated in AS in com­par­ison to RP fol­lowing ­blocks 2A (6.91 ­mmol·l-1 ±2.67 and 4.74 ­mmol·l-1 ±1.28) and 3A (7.18 ­mmol·l-1 ±2.97 and 4.88 ­mmol·l-1 ±1.50), (p<0.05). AS sus­tained sig­nif­i­cantly ­faster ­average ­sprint ­times in ­block 3A com­pared ­with RP (3.18 sec ±0.12 and 3.31 sec ±0.12), (p<0.05).
Con­clu­sion. The ­results of ­this ­study ­show ­that ­highly ­trained ­soccer ­players are ­able to sus­tain, and ­more ­quickly ­recover ­from, ­high inten­sity inter­mit­tent exer­cise.

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