Analysis of speed performance in soccer by a playing position and a sports level using a laser system

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Amelia Ferro, Jorge Villacieros, Pablo Floría, Jose L. Graupera

The purpose of this study was to determine the kinematic variables that identify the quality of velocity in soccer players at different competitive levels and playing positions. This study had two independent variables: 1) a competitive level (competitive and non-competitive players); and 2) a playing position, with four levels (central defenders, wide defenders/midfielders, central midfielders and forwards). Forty-two soccer players took part in a 30 m sprint-test, which was measured using a laser sensor-type 1 (LDM301-Jenoptik) at 2000 Hz. Absolute and relative times, average velocities and absolute and relative maximum velocities over 10 m sections were analyzed at 200 Hz with BioLaserSport®. There were no significant differences in average velocity between competitive and non-competitive players; however, the former reached a greater maximum velocity in the 10-20 m section. Average velocity in the 0-10 m section identified specificity among playing positions in competitive players. The forwards were the fastest followed by the central midfielders, the wide defenders/midfielders and the central defenders. No differences were found among the non-competitive players. Average velocity over the 0-10 meter section may be an important indicator when assigning a playing position for competitive players. These results support the use of more accurate systems, such as a laser system, to identify soccer players’ speed qualities (including maximum velocity) during short sprints.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0120
Key words
soccer, sprint, velocity, 30 m test, kinematics

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