Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12693
Development of elite soccer athletes by means of sport academies has received a lot of interest recently from scientists looking for predicting factors of success. The aim of this study was to assess if there is a difference in physiological and/or physical attributes between players of a soccer academy and club players only, as academy players receive three extra practice sessions per week in the academy, for 12-15 weeks each semester compared to club players. Academy players (n =15) were compared to their teammates (n =33) who play the same field position respectively. Sport background questionnaire was administered and anthropometric measures performed (height, weight and body fat). Physiological performance was assessed with three fundamental performance tests; VO2 MAX (aerobic endurance), Illinois agility run [IAR] (agility) and vertical jump (anaerobic power).
No significant difference was observed in the performance tests or anthropometry. Therefore it must be assumed that the soccer academy has not yet reached a significantly higher physiological standard compared to club teammates. However, the academy players outperformed club players in IAR (0.34 s) and vertical jump (3.5-7%), but not in relative VO2 MAX were club players scored higher (academy 55.6 s = 4.91 mlkg-1min-1 versus club 57 s = 5.37 mlkg-1min-1). Anthropometry was similar between the two groups and in harmony with other previously published studies on soccer academy athletes. It would be of benefit to the academy to administer an entrance exam to raise the physiological standard compared to average club values. Suggestions for further research are provided.
Keywords: soccer, physiological, performance, teammates, academy
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