The effect of prolonged intermittent high-intensity exercise on the performance of soccer-specific skills
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The aim of the study was to examine the effect of accumulated fatigue, developed from the performance of prolonged intermittent high-intensity exercise, on the performance of soccer shooting and dribbling skill. Nine semi-professional soccer players volunteered to participate in the study. Their mean (± SD) age, body mass and height were 20.7 ± 1.4 years, 177.7 ± 6.1 cm and 73.5.1 ± 7.6 kg respectively. Participants completed a slalom dribble test and a Loughborough Soccer Shooting Test (LSST) prior to and directly following the performance of a 45 minute modified version of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST). The LIST was designed to simulate the minimum physical demands experienced by soccer players during competitive math-play. Performance of the soccer dribbling and shooting skill deteriorated by 4.2 ± 3.6 % (P < 0.05) and 31.61 ± 25.21% (P < 0.05) respectively, following the performance of the LIST. Mean heart rates (155 ± 11 bpm, 155 ± 13 bpm and 156 ± 12 bpm) and mean 15m sprint performance times (2.54 ± 0.15 s, 2.56 ± 0.14 s and 2.58 ± 0.14 s) remained unchanged across the performance of the three LIST activity bouts (P > 0.05). The results of the study demonstrate that soccer skill performance deteriorates after the completion of a prolonged intermittent high-intensity soccer-specific exercise, replicating the physiological demands of one half of soccer match-play. The findings demonstrate a need for trainers and coaches to include soccer-specific fatiguing exercises with skills training to aid players in coping with the demands of soccer match-play.
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