Background: Change-of-direction (CoD) is a necessary physical ability of a field sport and may vary in youth players according to their maturation status. Objectives: The aim of this study is: to compare the effectiveness of a 6-week CoD training intervention on dynamic balance (CS-YBT), horizontal jump (5JT), speed (10 and 30-m linear sprint times), CoD with (15 m-CoD + B) and without (15 m-CoD) the ball, in youth male soccer players at different levels of maturity [pre- and post-peak height velocity (PHV)]. Materials and Methods: Thirty elite male youth soccer players aged 10–17 years from the Tunisian first division participated in this study. The players were divided into pre- (G1, n = 15) and post-PHV (G2, n = 15) groups. Both groups completed a similar 6-week training program with two sessions per week of four CoD exercises. All players completed the following tests before and after intervention: CS-YBT; 5 JT; 10, 30, and 15 m-CoD; and 15 m-CoD + B, and data were analyzed using ANCOVA. Results: All 30 players completed the study according to the study design and methodology. Adherence rate was 100% across all groups, and no training or test-related injuries were reported. Pre-PHV and post-PHV groups showed significant amelioration post-intervention for all dependent variables (after test > before test; p < 0.01, d = 0.09–1.51). ANOVA revealed a significant group × time interaction only for CS-YBT (F = 4.45; p < 0.04; η2 = 0.14), 5JT (F = 6.39; p < 0.02; η2 = 0.18), and 15 m-CoD (F = 7.88; p < 0.01; η2 = 0.22). CS-YBT, 5JT, and 15 m-CoD improved significantly in the post-PHV group (+ 4.56%, effect size = 1.51; + 4.51%, effect size = 1.05; and -3.08%, effect size = 0.51, respectively), more than the pre-PHV group (+ 2.77%, effect size = 0.85; + 2.91%, effect size = 0.54; and -1.56%, effect size = 0.20, respectively). Conclusion: The CoD training program improved balance, horizontal jump, and CoD without the ball in male preadolescent and adolescent soccer players, and this improvement was greater in the post-PHV players. The maturity status of the athletes should be considered when programming CoD training for soccer players.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Frontiers in Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 24 May 2021|
Bibliographical noteThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
FunderDeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and Open Access Publishing Fund of the University of Potsdam, Germany
- change of direction speed
- peak height velocity
- training adaptation
- youth soccer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)