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Int J Sports Med. 2007 Mar;28(3):228-35. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Validity of simple field tests as indicators of match-related physical performance in top-level professional soccer players.

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1
Human Performance Lab, Castellanza, Varese, Italy.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the construct validity of selected field tests as indicators of match-related physical performance. During the competitive season, eighteen professional soccer players (age 26.2 +/- 4.5 yrs, mass 80.8 +/- 7.8 kg, and height 181.9 +/- 3.7 cm) completed an incremental running field test to exhaustion, a vertical-jump and a repeated-sprint ability (RSA) test. Match physical performance was quantified during official matches using a video-computerized, semi-automatic, match analysis image recognition system, (ProZone, Leeds, UK). The selected measures of match physical performance were: total distance covered (TD), high intensity running (HIR: > 14.4 km . h (-1)), very high intensity running (VHIR:> 19.8 km . h (-1)), sprinting (> 25.2 km . h (-1)) and top running speed. Significant correlations were found between peak speed reached during the incremental field test and TD (r = 0.58, R (2) = 0.34; p < 0.05), HIR (r = 0.65, R (2) = 0.42; p < 0.01) and VHIR (r = 0.64, R (2) = 0.41; p < 0.01). Significant correlations were also found between RSA mean time and VHIR (r = - 0.60, R (2) = 0.36; p < 0.01) and sprinting distance (r = - 0.65, R (2) = 0.42; p < 0.01). Significant differences were found between the best and worst group as defined by the median split technique for peak speed (TD = 12 011 +/- 747 m vs. 10 712 +/- 669, HIR = 3192 +/- 482 m vs. 2314 +/- 347 m, and VHIR = 1014 +/- 120 vs. 779 +/- 122 m, respectively; p < 0.05) and RSA mean time (VHIR = 974 +/- 162 m vs. 819 +/- 144 m, and sprinting = 235 +/- 56 vs. 164 +/- 58 m, respectively; p < 0.05). In conclusion, this study gives empirical support to the construct validity of RSA and incremental running tests as measures of match-related physical performance in top-level professional soccer players.

PMID:
17024621
DOI:
10.1055/s-2006-924340
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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