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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2006 Mar;46(1):44-51.

The application of soccer performance testing protocols to the non-elite player.

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Department of Physical Performance and Development, University of New Mexico Exercise Physiology Laboratories, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.



The application of performance testing for the evaluation of non-elite soccer players has received little attention. The purpose of this investigation was to use tests developed for elite soccer players to evaluate performance in non-elite soccer players and compare performance test results between elite (literature) and non-elite (data) players.


Thirteen male soccer players volunteered to participate. The tests included a treadmill VO2max test, 20 m sprint, vertical jump (VJ), 30 s Wingate cycle ergometer test, the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST), and 2 20-m multi-stage shuttle runs to exhaustion (fatigue test). Actual VO2max (absolute and relative) scores were correlated with the estimated VO2max scores (fatigue test), 20 m sprint, VJ, and 30 s Wingate using a Pearson's product-moment correlation. A paired t-test was conducted on the fatigue test trials.


Non-significant relationships were observed between actual VO2max scores and estimated VO2max from the fatigue test (absolute and relative terms). Non-significant relationships were also observed between peak and average power output (Wingate), 20 m sprint, and VJ. Mean heart rates (HRs) throughout the LIST was 165+/-7 bpm, which represented 88% of HRmax.


The results of this study demonstrate that to elicit physiological differences between elite and non-elite players, assessment must include both an aerobic and anaerobic component.

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