The Importance of Postural Control in Relation to Technical Abilities in Small-Sided Soccer Games

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Caglar Edis, Faik Vural, Hikmet Vurgun

Making assessments regarding postural control and balance is very important for injury prevention in soccer. However, there has been no study that has associated postural control variables with branch-specific technical properties in a game. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationships between variables designating postural control levels and technical performance variables in different (1:1, 2:2 and 3:3) small-sided games (SSGs). Sixteen trained male amateur soccer players volunteered to take part in the study (age 17.2 ± 1.02 years, body height 176.25 ± 0.07 m, body mass 67.67 ± 13.27 kg). Following familiarization sessions, postural control was evaluated using one-leg and both-leg quiet-stance positions by measuring postural sway with a Tekscan HR Mat™ in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Later, 1:1, 2:2 and 3:3 SSGs were performed at two-day intervals and the technical variables specified for each game were analyzed. A Spearman’s rank-order correlation analysis demonstrated the relationship between postural control and soccer-specific technical variables in 1:1 (r-values ranging from 0.582 to 0.776), 2:2 (r-values ranging from 0.511 to 0.740) and 3:3 (r-values ranging from 0.502 to 0.834) SSGs. In addition, a Wilcoxon signed rank test revealed differences between SSGs in terms of several variables. The results of the study showed that higher postural control levels are among the important variables that affect success in the performance of technical skills under rival pressure and suddenly changing conditions. Therefore, it is recommended that in addition to its use for injury prevention purposes, balance training should be conducted to improve branch-specific technical skills and to increase the levels of their successful performance in a game.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2016-0010
Key words
balance, soccer, technical actions, pedobarography

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