Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2016 ) 15 , 314 - 319

Research article
Multi-Directional Sprint Training Improves Change-Of-Direction Speed and Reactive Agility in Young Highly Trained Soccer Players
Dennis-Peter Born , Christoph Zinner, Peter Düking, Billy Sperlich
Author Information
University of Wuerzburg, Integrative and Experimental Exercise Science, Institute for Sport Sciences, Wuerzburg, Germany

Dennis-Peter Born
✉ University of Wuerzburg, Integrative and Experimental Exercise Science, Institute for Sport Sciences, Judenbuehlweg 11, 97082 Wuerzburg, Germany
Email: dennis.born@web.de
Publish Date
Received: 11-09-2015
Accepted: 31-03-2016
Published (online): 23-05-2016
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a repeated sprint training with multi-directional change-of-direction (COD) movements (RSmulti) compared to repeated shuttle sprints (RSS) on variables related to COD speed and reactive agility. Nineteen highly-trained male U15 soccer players were assigned into two groups performing either RSmulti or RSS. For both groups, each training session involved 20 repeated 15 s sprints interspersed with 30 s recovery. With RSmulti the COD movements were randomized and performed in response to a visual stimulus, while the RSS involved predefined 180° COD movements. Before and following the six training sessions, performance in the Illinois agility test (IAT), COD speed in response to a visual stimulus, 20 m linear sprint time and vertical jumping height were assessed. Both groups improved their performance in the IAT (p < 0.01, ES = 1.13; p = 0.01, ES = 0.55). The COD speed in response to a visual stimulus improved with the RSmulti (p < 0.01, ES = 1.03), but not the RSS (p = 0.46, ES = 0.28). No differences were found for 20 m sprint time (P=0.73, ES = 0.07; p = 0.14, ES = 0.28) or vertical jumping height (p = 0.46, ES = 0.11; p = 0.29, ES = 0.12) for the RSmulti and RSS, respectively. In conclusion, performance in the IAT improved with the RSmulti as well as RSS. With the RSmulti however, the COD movements are performed in response to a visual stimulus, which may result in specific adaptations that improve COD speed and reactive agility in young highly trained soccer players.

Key words: COD movements, repeated shuttle sprints, speed, Speedcourt, team sport


           Key Points
  • During soccer, the players perform repeated sprints involving multi-directional COD movements, while most of these turns and twists are not pre-planned but executed in response to an external stimulus, such as ball movement, several interacting opponents and changing game situations.
  • Both groups improved performance in the IAT. With the RS on the Speedcourt however, the COD movements are performed in response to a visual stimulus, which may result in specific adaptations that improve COD speed and reactive agility.
  • The Speedcourt could serve as a valuable method to design and individualize specific conditioning drills for young highly-trained soccer players.
 
 
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