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A physiological evaluation of professional soccer players.
  1. P. B. Raven,
  2. L. R. Gettman,
  3. M. L. Pollock,
  4. K. H. Cooper

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiological functions of a professional soccer team in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Eighteen players were evaluated on cardiorespiratory function, endurance performance, body composition, blood chemistry, and motor fitness measures near the end of their competitive season. The following means were observed: age, 26 yrs; height, 176 cm; weight 75.5 kg; resting heart rate, 50 beats/min; maximum heart rate (MHR), 188 beats/min; maximum oxygen intake (VO2 max), 58.4 ml/kg-min-1; maximum ventilation (VEmax BTPS), 154 L/min; body fat, 9.59%; 12-min run, 1.86 miles; and Illinois agility run, 15.6 secs. Results on resting blood pressure, serum lipids, vital capacity, flexibility, upper body strength, and vertical jump tests were comparable to values found for the sedentary population. Comparing the results with previously collected data on professional American Football backs indicated that the soccer players were shorter; lighter in body weight; higher in VO2 max (4 ml/kg-min-1) and body fat (1.8%); and similar in MHR, VE max, and VC. The 12-min run scores were similar to the initial values observed for the 1970 Brazilian World Cup Team. The agility run results were superior to data collected from other groups. Their endurance capabilities, agility, and low percent of body fat clearly differentiate them from the sedentary population and show them to be similar to that of professional American football backs.

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