2013, Volume 5, Issue 3

Generic versus specific sprint training in young soccer players

Zbigniew Jastrzebski1, Lukasz Radziminski1, Robert Dargiewicz1, Ewelina Jaskulska1, Wojciech Barnat2, Pawel Rompa1

1Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport in Gdansk
2Malbork Football Academy

Author for correspondence: Zbigniew Jastrzebski; Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport in Gdansk; email: zb.jastrzebski@op.pl

DOI: 10.2478/bjha-2013-0018

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Background: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of two 8-week sprint training programs on the speed and sport-specific skills of young soccer players and to determine additional effects of 8 weeks’ whole body rotation.
Material/Methods: Twenty-two Under-18 soccer players were divided into two groups: a running group (RG) and a ball group (BG). The RG completed sprint training without the ball, whereas the BG members trained with the ball. The 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-m sprint times and the level of soccer-specific skills were measured before and after completing the training programs.
Results: A significant (p < 0.05) time interaction was found in sprint times at all distances. The players from both groups achieved significantly better sprint times on the distances of 15 m and 30 m; additionally, an improvement in the 20 m sprint time was noted in the BG. No significant changes in the level of soccer-specific skills were found.
Conclusions: Sprint training performed with a ball might be equally efficient as a traditional non-ball method for developing players’ speed. Moreover, soccer-specific sprint training may improve certain technical skills in young players.

Key words: soccer, speed, training