To assess and compare the effects of 8 wk of in-season (2 sessions/wk) low- and high-volume plyometric training (PT) on measures of physical fitness in prepubertal male soccer players.
A total of 25 soccer players were randomly assigned to a low-volume PT group (LPT; n = 13, age 12.68 ± 0.23 y, age at peak height velocity [APHV] 14.25 ± 0.29 y, maturity offset –1.57 ± 0.29 y) or a high-volume PT group (HPT; n = 12, age 12.72 ± 0.27 y, APHV 14.33 ± 0.77 y, maturity offset –1.61 ± 0.76 y). A linear-sprint test (5-m, 10-m, 20-m, and 30-m), change-of-direction (CoD) test, and vertical- (squat-jump [SJ]), countermovement- (CMJ), and horizontal-jump (standing long jump [SLJ]) test were carried out before and after 8 wk of PT.
There was a significant main effect of time for sprint outcomes (5-m, P = .005, ES = 0.86; 10-m, P = .006, ES = 0.85; 20-m, P = .03, ES = 0.64, and 30-m, P = .05, ES = 0.57), CoD (P = .002, ES = 0.96), SJ (P = .008, ES = 0.81; CMJ, P = .01, ES = 0.73), and SLJ ability (P = .007, ES = 0.83). There were no significant training group × time interactions in any measured outcomes.
After 8 wk of training, results showed similar performance improvement on measures of sprint time, CoD, and jumping ability between LPT and HPT groups. From a time-efficiency perspective, it is recommended to use LPT in prepubertal male soccer players to improve their proxies of athletic performance.
Chaabene is with the Sports Performance Optimization Tunisian Research Laboratory, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia. Negra is with the Sport Performance & Health Research Unit, Higher Inst of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar Said, Tunis, Tunisia.