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Sprint Mechanical Properties
INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE
Development and monitoring of players’ sprinting capacities have received considerable attention in research literature over the years. Effort has been made to unravel and reveal underlying mechanical determinants for sprint performance, as such variables provide insights into individual biomechanical limitations.
Theoretical maximal velocity (v0), horizontal force (F0), horizontal power (Pmax) and force-velocity profile can be calculated from the model by derivation of the speed-time curve that leads to horizontal acceleration data. In fact, Fv profiling allows an individual analysis and development of training programs that target the major limiting factors.
“Accordingly, players with horizontal force deficits should be prescribed more horizontal strength work, while players with velocity deficits should prioritize maximal velocity sprint conditioning (Morin & Samozino, 2016)”
However, group homogeneity can limit the effectiveness of this approach, as players within a team can be clustered around a limited range of the entire spectrum of mechanical sprint running profiles. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify possible differences in sprint mechanical outputs in soccer as a function of playing standard, playing position, age and sex.
Sprint tests of 674 male and female of national team soccer players (Norway) were included in this cross-sectional study. Theoretical maximal velocity (v0), horizontal force (F0), horizontal power (Pmax), force- velocity slope (SFV), ratio of force (RFmax) and index of force application technique (DRF) were calculated from anthropometric and spatiotemporal data using an inverse dynamic approach applied to the centre-of-mass movement.
- Players of higher standard exhibited superior F0, v0, Pmax, RFmax and DRF scores (small to large effects) than those of lower standard.
- Forwards displayed clearly superior values for most outputs, ahead of defenders, midfielders and goalkeepers, respectively.
- Male >28 y players achieved poorer v0, Pmax and RFmax than <20, 20–24 and 24–28 y players (small to moderate), while female <20 y players showed poorer values than 20–24 and >24 y players for the same measures (small).
- The sex differences in sprint mechanical properties ranged from small to very large.
- The findings of the present study consolidate the importance of sprinting (acceleration and peak velocity characteristics) as a differentiating characteristic between categories. In this connection, data extrapolation (cause-effect) between categories is not recommended.
- The present findings revealed that forwards displayed superior sprint mechanical properties ahead of defenders, midfielders and goalkeepers, respectively. Hence, this statement highlights the close relationship between forward position and sprint performance, an essential skill in this position because of competition requirements.
- According to other authors (Morin & Samozino, 2016), these findings may support practitioners for task design. In fact, players with horizontal force deficits should be prescribed more horizontal strength work, while players with velocity deficits should prioritize maximal velocity sprinting (vertical force production (Loturco et al, 2019)).
- Loturco I, Bishop C, Freitas T. , Pereira L, & Jeffreys I (2019). Vertical force production in Soccer: mechanical aspects and applied training strategies. Strength & Cond J.
- Morin JB, & Samozino P. (2016). Interpreting power-force-velocity profiles for individualised and specific training. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 11(2), 267–272.
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