Changes in Sprint Force–Velocity Profile in International Para Footballers

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Iván Peña-González Department of Sport Sciences, Sport Research Center, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain

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Alejandro Javaloyes Department of Sport Sciences, Sport Research Center, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain

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Jose Manuel Sarabia Department of Sport Sciences, Sport Research Center, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain
Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Alicante Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL), Alicante, Spain

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Manuel Moya-Ramón Department of Sport Sciences, Sport Research Center, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain
Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Alicante Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL), Alicante, Spain

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Purpose: Force production is crucial in football, and it is the main limitation of people with cerebral palsy (CP). This study aimed to describe the changes in sprint force–velocity (Fv) profile after a period of 25 weeks of regular training in international football players with CP. Methods: The sprint Fv profile and other physical performance variables (ie, linear sprint, vertical jump, change of direction, and intermittent endurance) of 14 international players from the Spanish national team were assessed during 2 consecutive training camps. Pretesting and posttesting sessions were carried out 1 week before and after the 25-week intervention period. The intervention consisted of 2 strength sessions per week added to the usual football training. Results: The repeated-measures analysis of variance showed changes in players’ physical performance (linear sprint: F = 18.05, P < .01; change of direction: F = 16.71, P < .01; and endurance: F = 31.45, P < .01) and in some variables of the sprint Fv profile (maximal horizontal force, maximal power, slope, maximal ratio of force, and decrease of ratio of force; F = 14.28–37.81; P < .01), whereas players’ maximal velocity (theoretical and actual) did not change (F = 0.13 and 0.01; P = .72 and .98, respectively). Conclusions: This study showed that the implementation of 2 strength-training sessions per week, for 25 weeks, is effective to improve CP football players’ physical performance. The main finding of this study is the improvement of force application in the acceleration phase (sprint Fv profile), which is the main attribute in many physical performance tests and is the main limitation of the CP population.

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