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Global Differences in Current Strength and Conditioning Practice within Soccer

McQuilliam, S, Clark, D, Erskine, R and Brownlee, T (2022) Global Differences in Current Strength and Conditioning Practice within Soccer. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching. ISSN 1747-9541

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Open Access URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1747... (Published version)


Differences exist between top-tier soccer leagues (e.g., anthropometry and match demands), which may influence strength and conditioning (S&C) practice. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether current S&C practice in men’s and women’s (first team and academy) squads differed between global regions. A total of 170 participants, involved in the delivery of S&C support at their soccer club (based in South America (SA), USA, UK or other European countries (EUR)), completed a survey examining their S&C methods. The survey comprised six sections: (i) academic qualifications and S&C coaching experience; and their preferred methods for (ii) physical testing; (iii) strength and power development; (iv) plyometric training; (v) speed development; and (vi) periodization. Coaches in EUR conducted fewer formal S&C sessions, placed less importance on free-weight resistance training (RT) and performed less speed and plyometric training compared to coaches in other global regions (all p<0.05). While coaches working with UK squads devoted more time to physical development than those in EUR, they regarded bodyweight training as the most important RT modality in comparison to USA and SA, who prioritised free-weight RT. Finally, SA academy players are introduced to formal S&C later (~14 years-old) than those in the UK (~12 years-old, p=0.002). However, it is reasonable to suggest that S&C practice of coaches in the USA and SA align better with scientific guidelines for strength and power development in soccer, with emphasis on free-weight RT alongside regular sprint and plyometric training, compared to coaches in the UK and EUR.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: SAGE Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2022 11:45
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 11:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/17479541221136048
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18233
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