Running Speed In Soccer

Por: J. Buschmann e J. Rehhagel.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Running is the basis of many sports and has a ballistic quality common to other movements. However, most sports
involve much more than linear sprinting at top speed. The ability to change direction and velocity is often more
important.[1] Is it therefore an error to focus one’s testing and training exclusively on linear speed mechanics? This
lecture is concerned with the development of a test battery for the diagnosis and controlling of the soccer-specific run
speed. Central questions are: How frequently, how importantly and of which kind are speed performances in soccer
matches? How does a valid soccer-specific test look like? Are there correlations regarding acyclic as well as cyclic
speed performances in soccer matches?

An extensive literature search over importance, diagnostics and control as well as training of the run speed were already
accomplished. In 250 foreign and German-language articles no soccer-specific test could be found that correspond to
the usual test criteria (objectivity, validity and reliability). To specify frequency, differentiation and priority of all
relevant speed characteristics in soccer matches the ‚UEFA Champions-League’ season 2001 were analyzed by video.
In order to collect further statements for the development of a football-specific sprint test, 25 internationally selected
experts (national team as well as 1.League coaches) were questioned. In the context of well-known (linear-sprint test)
and new (shuttle test) speed-tests with and without ball further experiences were collected , e.g. over validity by
different tests as well as the influence of different floor mats. The current test battery covers 5 tests with and without
ball. For evaluation elite players as well as amateur and youth players were tested.

The questioning resulted in that speed possesses a high value within the relevant factors for the match performance. The
correlations found between linear sprint tests and football-specific tests are not significant. As well as the correlations
between cyclic and acyclic speed performance in football.

Discussion / Conclusions
1.The soccer specific sprint performance can be divided in various dimensions like acyclic or cyclic sprint with an
without ball.[2] Our findings indicate that speed is a performance-limiting factor in soccer with a high value within
the relevant factors of the match performance. Training and testing of the soccer specific run speed should orient
itself at the requirements of the play. That is acyclic movements with and without ball should be more considered.

[1]. Grosser, M. (1998). Das neue Konditionstraining für alle Sportarten, für Kinder, Jugendliche und Aktive, München- Wien - Zürich.
[2]. Weineck, J. (1992). Optimales Fußballtraining, Nürnberg.

NOTA: O texto com a iconografia está no anexo.

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