Physical Performance Comparison Between Under 15 Elite and Sub-Elite Soccer Players

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Athos Trecroci, Zoran Milanovic, Matteo Frontini, F. Marcello Iaia, Giampietro Alberti

The aim of this study was to compare the physical performance profile among young soccer players of different competitive levels. Two teams of elite (n = 22) and sub-elite (n = 22) soccer players at national (highly skilled) and regional (moderately skilled) level were recruited in the study. All participants were tested using a modified Illinois change of direction speed test, a T-drill with and without a ball, a countermovement jump, and a 10-m sprint. The analysis revealed significant differences in favor of elite players in sprint (d = 1.54, large) and vertical jump (d = 2.03, very large) outcomes, while no differences were observed in both modified Illinois change of direction speed (d = 0.16, trivial) and T-drill (d = 0.20, small) tests between the groups. The ability to change direction and speed with and without a ball was found not to be suitable enough to highlight the difference among youth players with moderate-tohigh level of play. In conclusion, multi-testing approach based on task-related power should include vertical jump and sprint performance to delineate players of a higher level.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0126
Key words
talent selection, change of direction speed, skill assessment, team sports, anaerobic power

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