Effects of plyometric and sprint training on physical and technical skill performance in adolescent soccer players
National Strength and Conditioning Association
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
To determine the influence of a short-term combined plyometric and sprint training (9 weeks) within regular soccer practice on explosive and technical actions of pubertal soccer players during the in-season. Twenty-six players were randomly assigned to 2 groups: control group (CG) (soccer training only) and combined group (CombG) (plyometric + acceleration + dribbling + shooting). All players trained soccer 4 times per week and the experimental groups supplemented the soccer training with a proposed plyometric-sprint training program for 40 minutes (2 days per weeks). Ten-meter sprint, 10-m agility with and without ball, CMJ and Abalakov vertical jump, ball-shooting speed, and Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test were measured before and after training. The experimental group followed a 9-week plyometric and sprint program (i.e., jumping, hurdling, bouncing, skipping, and footwork) implemented before the soccer training. Baseline-training results showed no significant differences between the groups in any of the variables tested. No improvement was found in the CG; however, meaningful improvement was found in all variables in the experimental group: CMJ (effect size [ES] 0.9), Abalakov vertical jump (ES 1.3), 10-m sprint (ES 0.7-0.9), 10-m agility (ES 0.8-1.2), and ball-shooting speed (ES 0.7-0.8). A specific combined plyometric and sprint training within regular soccer practice improved explosive actions compared with conventional soccer training only. Therefore, the short-term combined program had a beneficial impact on explosive actions, such as sprinting, change of direction, jumping, and ball-shooting speed which are important determinants of match-winning actions in soccer performance. Therefore, we propose modifications to current training methodology for pubertal soccer players to include combined plyometric and speed training for athlete preparation in this sport.