Effects of combined plyometric and short sprints training on athletic performance of male U19 soccer players

Ghaith Aloui, Hermassi Souhail, Lawrence D. Hayes, El Ghali Bouhafs, Mohamed Souhaiel Chelly, René Schwesig

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This project investigated adding 8 weeks of biweekly plyometric and short sprints training into standard training in elite youth soccer players. An experimental group (EG, n = 18, age: 17.6 ± 0.6 years, body mass: 67.6 ± 5.8 kg, height: 1.75 ± 0.06 m, and body fat: 11.5 ± 1.6%) and control group (CG, n = 18, age: 17.5 ± 0.6 years, body mass: 68.8 ± 3.6 kg, height: 1.77 ± 0.04 m, and body fat: 11.7 ± 1.2%) participated. Pre-intervention and post-intervention measures were squat-jump (SJ), countermovement-jump (CMJ), standing long jump (SLJ), 5 and 20 m sprints, change-of-direction ability (4 × 5 m sprint test [S 4 × 5 m] and sprint 9-3-6-3-9 m with backward and forward running [SBF]), repeated change of direction (RCOD), and static balance (the stork balance test). For all parameters, significant (p < 0.001, η2p > 0.10) time and interaction (group × time) effects were observed. For three parameters (SBF, RCOD fastest time, and SLJ) no significant group effects were observed. The EG consistently showed a significantly higher performance level than the CG and a higher amount of effect sizes d (EG: drange: 1.27–2.61; CG: drange: 0.13–0.79) as an indicator for the development of performance between pre-intervention and post-intervention measures. Adding biweekly plyometric and short sprint training to standard training improves the athletic performance of young soccer players. Such plyometric and short sprint training conditioning can be highly recommended as part of the annual short training program for male elite under-19 (U19) soccer players.
Original languageEnglish
Article number714016
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2021


  • periodization
  • plyometric training
  • soccer training
  • sprint training
  • stretch-shortening cycle
  • team sports


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