Background The explosive strength capacity of each limb influences acceleration capacity in soccer players.
Objective To investigate whether a relationship exists between the individual strength capacities of the lower limbs and performances in sprinting in a straight line and with a change of direction(CoD) in young soccer players.
Design Correlational research.
Setting Youth sport.
Participants 205 young soccer players (11.3±0.2 yrs, 180.1±2.6 cm, 78.5±2.2 kg).
Interventions All subjects performed the Hop test (HT), the Triple hop test (THT) and the Side hop test (SHT) (testing strength capacity); the 5m and 10m sprint test, the Foran test, and the 10×5m shuttle sprint test (tests to assess sprinting capacity in a straight line and with CoD) were executed using a photocell.
Main outcome measurements The correlation between the results of the three strength tests and sprinting performance was assessed.
Conclusions The results show that the athletes with high values of lower limb strength as assessed using the HT obtain significantly better performances in a straight line sprinting. However, the correlation coefficients indicate that the strength of the relationship is only moderate: 0.35 to 0.44 for performances in the HTvs sprinting in a straight line; and 0.12 to 0.26 for performances in the SHTvs sprinting with a CoD.
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