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 (2023) 22, 645 - 657   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2023.645

Research article
The Effect of a Balance Training Program on the Balance and Technical Skills of Adolescent Soccer Players
Ioannis Mitrousis1, Dimitrios I. Bourdas1, Stylianos Kounalakis2, Evangelos Bekris1, Michael Mitrotasios1, Νikolaos Kostopoulos1, Ioannis E. Ktistakis1, Emmanouil Zacharakis1, 
Author Information
1 School of Physical Education and Sports Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
2 Hellenic Army Academy, Greece

Emmanouil Zacharakis
✉ School of Physical Education and Sports Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Email: emzch@phed.uoa.gr
Publish Date
Received: 11-07-2023
Accepted: 25-09-2023
Published (online): 01-12-2023
 
 
ABSTRACT

Soccer is a complex sport, and balance appears to play a crucial role in the quality execution of technical skills, which are mostly performed while standing on one foot. Nevertheless, in younger ages, when learning still affects soccer performance, the effect of a balance-training program on the player’s balance and technical skills remains unexplored. This research examined the effect of a balance-training program (BTP) on balance and technical skills of adolescent soccer players. Τhe participating volunteers were thirty-two soccer players (12-13 years old with 3.84 ± 0.95 years of practice), randomly separated into two groups: an experimental (EXP, n1 = 17) and a control group (CON, n2 = 15). Both groups were evaluated in static and dynamic balance and in technical skills (dribbling, passing, juggling, and shooting with dominant and non-dominant legs) before (Pre-condition) and after the intervention (Post-condition) which was an eight-week BTP for the EXP group and a placebo-training program for the CON group. Α 2 by 2 (groups×condition) mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures on the condition factor was used to assess possible differences between groups. A significant groups × condition interaction effect was found in dynamic balance (p = 0.008), static (p = 0.042), and shooting (p = 0.022) with dominant leg performance. The EXP group improved (p = 0.007) its static balance by 37.82% and also significantly improved its dynamic balance and shooting accuracy with dominant leg in Post condition by 24.98% (p = 0.006) and 83.84% (p = 0.006) respectively. No significant improvement of other variables was detected in the EXP group Post condition. Dynamic and static balance, and shooting with dominant leg skills can be improved in adolescent soccer players through a specialized 8-week BTP. Balance-training program may contribute to technical skill improvement in soccer training.

Key words: Soccer technique, adolescence, dominant leg, steadiness, performance, proprioception


           Key Points
  • Dynamic balance can be improved in adolescent soccer players through a specialized balance-training program.
  • Shooting skills with dominant leg can be improved in adolescent soccer players through a balance-training program of 8 weeks.
  • The specialized balance-training program of 8 weeks could contribute to technical skill improvement in soccer training.
 
 
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