Velocity Peak Measurement in Soccer


Measuring the peak velocity is crucial to individualize load management (external load) processes. However, the better condition (higher peak) to measure the peak velocity is not clear. Previous studies reported higher peak velocity data during soccer matches than in a 40-m sprint test.


Test the peak velocity performed in different conditions (explained in method).


They compared the peak velocities of 12 full-time male youth soccer players (age 16.3 ± 0.8 years) recorded during a 40-m sprint test with peak velocity recorded during their routine activities (matches, sprints, and skill-based conditioning drills: small-sided games [SSG], medium-sided games [MSG], large-sided games [LSG]).


The order of peak velocity was as follows (from highest to lowest):

  1. Sprint test (8.76 ± 0.39 m/s)
  2. Sprint training (8.50 ± 0.36 m/s)
  3. Matches (7.94 ± 0.49 m/s)
  4. LSG (6.94 ± 0.65 m/s)
  5. MSG (6.40 ± 0.75 m/s)
  6. SSG (5.25 ± 0.92 m/s)

Figure 1. Effect statistics (mean differences and 95% confidence intervals) for the comparison of peak velocity attained during small-sided (SSG), medium-sided (MSG), and large-sided games (LSG), sprints, and match versus peak velocity recorded during a 40-m sprint test. Zero difference (0) on the x axis represents no difference between an activity and the 40-m sprint test.

Take home messages:

  • Both test 40-m sprint and sprint training are crucial tasks to achieving equal or close velocity to the actual peak velocity, which would rarely be achieved under soccer-specific conditions (e.g., SSG, MSG, LSG).

«Velocity peak rarely be achieved under soccer-specific conditions»

  • These data show the applicability of 40-m sprint test/training for position-specific programs aimed at developing maximal velocity (i.e., fullbacks) but also at preventing velocity-related injuries at maximum velocity (e.g., specific hamstring stimulus).