Does Maturity Status Affect The Relationship Between Anaerobic Speed Reserve And Multiple Sprints Sets Performance in Young Soccer Players?

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The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between repeated-sprint sets (RSS) performance indices and anaerobic speed reserve (ASR) in young soccer players of different maturity status. One hundred and seventy nine young male soccer players (11.1 to 17.8 years) classified as pre- (n=50), circum- (n=60), or post- (n=69) peak height velocity (PHV) performed multi-stage shuttle run test (MRST) to measure maximal aerobic speed (MAS), 30-m sprint with 10-m splits to estimate maximal anaerobic speed (MAnS), and RSS test. ASR was calculated as the difference between MAS and MAnS. The RSS indices, MAS, MAnS and ASR were significantly different in the three maturity groups (p< 0.001; ES =0.12-0.64). Correlations between RSS performance indices and ASR varied considerably depending on maturity status. Very large correlations between ASR and RSS indices expressed as sum sprint time (SST) and best sprint time (BST) were found for pre- and circum-PHV groups (r=-0.76, -0.79 and r=-0.82, -0.86, respectively). In the post-PHV group, ASR was moderately associated with both SST (r=-0.45) and BST (r=-0.46). To sum up, these results highlighted that the ASR is more related to factors of RSS performance in pre- and circum-PHV male soccer players compared with post-PHV ones. These findings could help coaches and strength and conditioning professionals to better understand how the relationship between ASR and RSS evolve across the maturity and may be considered, therefore, useful in youth soccer selection/training process.

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