Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Evaluation of Physical Capacities of Strength and Speed of Different Competition Level Young Football Players

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Evaluation of Physical Capacities of Strength and Speed of Different Competition Level Young Football Players

Article excerpt


High requirements of soccer game make soccer players adapt and compete at the highest standard. Physical capacity of soccer players may give an indication of the physiological demands of the game. The different form of strength, maximum and explosive strength, rate of force development, plays a critical role on performance of such skills. In particular, muscle strength of the lower limbs is significantly associated with vertical jump height and sprinting performance (Wisloff, Castagna, Helgerud, Jones, Hoff, 2004). There are several reports in the literature concerning investigations which studied the strength of young football players (Mujika, Santisteban, Castagna, 2009; Requena, González-Badillo, de Villareal, Ereline, García, Gapeyeva, Pääsuke, 2011; Sedano, Matheu, Redondo, Cuadrado, 2011) and the speed of young football players (Mujika, et al., 2009; Buchheit, Mendez-Villanueva, Delhomel, Brughelli, Ahmaidi, 2010; Tønnessen, Shalfawi, Haugen, Enoksen, 2011; Sedano, Matheu, Redondo, Cuadrado, 2011).

In the literature also we can see significant differences between soccer players of different ages and levels of competition, and soccer teams of different divisions in muscle strength, mainly in isotonic and isokinetic muscle strength, vertical jump, and sprint performance (Capranica, Cama, Fanton, Tessitore, Figura, 1992; Wisloff, Helgerud J., Hoff, 1998; Cometti, Maffiuletti, Pousson, Chatard, Maffulli, 2001; Sporis, Jukic, Ostojic, Milanovic, 2009; Wong, Chamari, Dellal, Wisløff, 2009; Fernandez-Gonzalo, De Souza-Teixeira, Bresciani, García-López, Hernández-Murúa, Jiménez-Jiménez, De Paz, 2010; Le Gall, Carling, Williams, Reilly, 2010; Lago-Peñas, Casais, Dellal, Rey, Domínguez, 2011).

Isometric force time characteristics, such as the starting force achieved during the first 100 msec (F100), and the time achieved to/for the MVC (TMVC) additional the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), are important capacities of the neuromuscular system to develop maximal force rapidly, and are related to athletic performance (Hakkinen, Komi, Kauhanen, 1986; Papadopoulos, Salonikidis, Schmidtbleicher, 1997; Kyrolainen, Avela, McBride, Koskinen, Andersen , Sipila, Takala, Komi, 2005; Gissis, Papadopoulos, Kalapotharakos, Sotiropoulos, Komsis, Manolopoulos, 2006).

For strength and speed diagnosis and to monitor the effects of training in athletes, the evaluation of maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), force-time curve characteristics, vertical jump ability, and speed has been used (Papadopoulos et al., 1997; Gissis et al., 2006; Papadopoulos, Kalapotharakos, Nousios, Meliggas, Gantiraga, 2006).

The purpose of this study was to assess the physical abilities of strength and speed of young soccer players of different competition level.



Forty-eight (48) soccer players were divided into three groups according to competition level: Elite class young football players of higher division (n = 16), who competed in a higher division championship, middle class young football players of middle division (n = 16), who competed in a middle class championship and lower class young football players of lower division (n = 16), who competed in a football academy.The training experience (number of years of soccer training) and training background (number of training sessions per week) of the three groups are in Table 1.


Isometric Force

A leg press machine was used to perform the leg press measurements. Force signals were detected by a force transducer (sampling rate: 1000Hz) and then amplified by a charge amplifier (Analog Devices µodule, SB40). The dynamometer was calibrated using known weights prior to each testing session. Maximal isometric force and force-time parameters of the bilateral leg extensor muscles (hip, knee, and ankle extensors) were measured in a sitting position, with the knee and hip angles 110o and 90o, respectively (1800 = full extension) (Gissis et al. …

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