The relationship between maximal aerobic performance, repeated sprint exercise and repeated agility sprinting in sub-elite male soccer players
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Soccer is a multiple sprint sport in which players are required to have a strong aerobic fitness and simultaneously have the ability to perform repeated-maximal sprints. Conflicting evidence exists regarding the relationship between aerobic fitness and repeated-sprint exercise performance (RSE). The purpose of the present study was to further investigate the relationship between aerobic fitness and RSE performance, extending previous research to include a soccer-specific RSE protocol involving changes-in direction (Repeated-agility sprinting [RAS]). Nine sub-elite male soccer players voluntarily took part in the study (20-years ± 1), each performing a maximal aerobic test (VO2max), a RSE test and a RAS test on three seperate days, at least one week apart. The test of RSE performance consisted of 8 x 40-metre sprints with 20-seconds passive recovery, and RAS testing consisted of 8 x 20-metre sprints with three changes in direction and 20-seconds passive recovery between each sprint. Fatigue Index was calculated and used as the performance measure of RSE and RAS. Pearson’s Correlation was performed between aerobic fitness and RSE (r = 0.298, P > 0.05), aerobic fitness and RAS (r = 0.037, P > 0.05) and RSE and RAS (r = 0.754, P < 0.05). The results indicate that VO2max as an indicator of aerobic fitness has no casual effect on an individuals ability to perform repeated straight-line or agility sprints. Moreover, the correlation of (r = 0.754, P < 0.05) between RSE and RAS was interpreted to signify the two paramaters as relatively similar qualities, thus either can be regarded as an ecologically valid means of assessing RSE.
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