Does SAQ training improve the speed and flexibility of young soccer players? A randomized controlled trial

Milanovic, Zoran, Sporiš, Goran, Trajković, Nebojsa, Sekulić, Damir, James, Nic ORCID: and Vučković, Goran (2014) Does SAQ training improve the speed and flexibility of young soccer players? A randomized controlled trial. Human Movement Science, 38 . pp. 197-208. ISSN 0167-9457 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.humov.2014.09.005)

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The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a 12-week speed, agility and quickness (SAQ) training program on speed and flexibility in young soccer players. One hundred and thirty-two soccer players were randomly assigned to experimental (EG; n = 66, Mean±SD: age: 18.5 ± 0.4 years (range 17-19 years); body mass: 71.30 ± 5.93 kg; stature: 177.2 ± 6.5 cm) and control groups (CG; n = 66, Mean±SD: age: 18.6 ± 0.6 years (range 17-19 years); body mass: 70.63 ± 4.87 kg; stature: 175.9 ± 5.7 cm). The experimental group performed SAQ training whilst the control group undertook straight-line sprint training matched for volume and duration. Sprint performance was assessed using 5 m and 10 m sprints and a further test including maximal speed, a 20 m sprint. Flexibility was assessed using sit and reach, V-sit and reach, leg lift from supine position and lateral leg lift while lying on the side tests. Sprints over 5, 10 and 20 m did not differ between groups at baseline, but by week 12, the 5 m sprint had significantly improved (P < 0.05) in the SAQ training group compared to the control group (1.40 ± 0.13 vs. 1.46 ± 0.12 s, respectively) although this improvement had a trivial effect size (ES=0.15). The 10 m sprint time had improved by 3.3% (P < 0.01) in the SAQ group with a moderate effect size (ES=0.66). No significant differences (P > 0.05) for all flexibility tests were found between experimental and control group at baseline and after the training programmes. Consequently SAQ training was found to be an effective way of improving sprint time for short distances over 5 and 10 m but not over 20 m (where maximum speed was achieved) or flexibility. These results indicate that SAQ training may be more effective for improving sprint performance for some soccer players but more research is required to determine ideal training methods for improving acceleration and flexibility in young soccer players.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 9 November 2014
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Performance Analysis at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 18543
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Nic James
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 12:28
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 06:06

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