The association between physical testing and training output across an 8-week training cycle amongst elite champions league level soccer players.
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The aim of the present investigation was to analyse the association between physical fitness profiles, playing positions and the profile relationships between training output amongst elite professional soccer players. Twenty professional players (height: 182.0 ± 3.2 cm, body mass:77.4 ± 6.1 kg, 25.7 ± 3.4 years) competing at UEFA Champions League level were involved in the present investigation. Players assessments included speed (5m and 20m), agility (T-test), jump performance (SJ and CMJ) and aerobic power (VO2max) at the start of pre-season. Players training outputs were recorded with global positioning systems (Statsports, Viper Pod, Newry, Northern Ireland) across 5 micro-cycles at the start of competitive period. Total distance (TDC; m), relative distance (m.min-1), high-speed running (HSR; m), explosive distance (m), total accelerations (n), total decelerations (n) and total sprints (n) were measured. No difference between playing positions were found in the physical tests. Jump and 20m-speed tests were significantly correlated with total accelerations (r= 95% CI:), total decelerations (r = 95% CI:), total sprints (r = 95% CI:), HSR (m) (r= 95% CI:) and HSR (m.min-1) (r= 95% CI:). 5m-speed test significantly correlated with explosive distance (r= 95% CI:). VO2max correlated with all metrics (p
<0.05) except total decelerations (r= 95% CI:) and TDC (r= 95% CI:).
- To conclude, laboratory based testing protocols were shown to positively relate to professional player training outputs.
- Furthermore, this study additionally highlights the significant difference in positional based training demands and requirements from a physical training output perspective.
- Coaches and key individuals involved with the physical preparation of elite players should consider the relationships between these tests when attempting to monitor, and develop specific physical fitness qualities of the elite soccer player.