Repeated-sprint sequences during youth soccer matches


Poster BUCHHEIT – RSS youth soccer (Science&Football congress)

Int J Sports Med. 2010 Oct;31(10):709-16. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1261897. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Repeated-sprint sequences during youth soccer matches.


Physiology Unit, Sport Science Department ASPIRE, Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, Qatar.


This study examined the occurrence and nature of repeated-sprint sequences (RSS) in highly-trained young soccer players, as a function of age, playing position and playing time. Time-motion analyses using a global positioning system (GPS) were performed on 99 highly-trained young soccer (U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U18) players during 42 international games. Sprint activities were defined as at least a 1-s run at intensities higher than 61% of the individual peak running velocity; RSS, as a minimum of 2 consecutive sprints interspersed with a maximum of 60  s. During the first half of games the younger teams had a greater number of RSS than the older teams (P<0.001): U13>U14>U16>U15>U18>U17. The younger players also performed more (e. g., U14 vs. U17: 2.8±0.3 vs. 2.6±0.3, P<0.05) and longer (e. g., U14 vs. U17: 2.8±0.5 vs. 2.6±0.5 s, P<0.05) sprints per sequence than the older players. RSS occurrence was also affected by playing position and decreased throughout the game in most age-groups (P<0.001). Both the occurrence and the nature of RSS are affected by age, position and playing time. Present results also question the importance of repeated-sprint ability as a crucial physical component of soccer performance in developing players.


Match running performance and physical capacity in youth soccer


pdf: Buchheit – Match running performance and physical capacity in youth football (soccer)

Int J Sports Med. 2010 Nov;31(11):818-25. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1262838. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Match running performance and fitness in youth soccer.


Physiology Unit, Sport Science Department, ASPIRE, Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, Qatar.


The activity profiles of highly trained young soccer players were examined in relation to age, playing position and physical capacity. Time-motion analyses (global positioning system) were performed on 77 (U13-U18; fullbacks [FB], centre-backs [CB], midfielders [MD], wide midfielders [W], second strikers [2 (nd)S] and strikers [S]) during 42 international club games. Total distance covered (TD) and very high-intensity activities (VHIA; >16.1 km·h (-1)) were computed during 186 entire player-matches. Physical capacity was assessed via field test measures (e. g., peak running speed during an incremental field test, VVam-eval). Match running performance showed an increasing trend with age ( P<0.001, partial eta-squared (η (2)): 0.20-0.45). When adjusted for age and individual playing time, match running performance was position-dependent ( P<0.001, η (2): 0.13-0.40). MD covered the greater TD; CB the lowest ( P<0.05). Distance for VHIA was lower for CB compared with all other positions ( P<0.05); W and S displayed the highest VHIA ( P<0.05). Relationships between match running performance and physical capacities were position-dependent, with poor or non-significant correlations within FB, CB, MD and W (e. g., VHIA vs. VVam-eval: R=0.06 in FB) but large associations within 2 (nd)S and S positions (e. g., VHIA vs. VVam-eval: R=0.70 in 2 (nd)S). In highly trained young soccer players, the importance of fitness level as a determinant of match running performance should be regarded as a function of playing position.