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Keeron J. Stone and Jonathan L. Oliver


The aim of the study was to examine the effect of fatigue, developed during prolonged high-intensity intermittent exercise, on the performance of soccer shooting and dribbling skill.


Nine semiprofessional soccer players with a mean age of 20.7 ± 1.4 years volunteered to participate in the study. Participants completed a slalom dribble test and the Loughborough Soccer Shooting Test (LSST), before and directly following the performance of three 15-min bouts of a modified version of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST).


Mean heart rates and mean 15-m sprint times remained unchanged across the three bouts of the LIST. Following the LIST slalom dribbling time increased significantly by 4.5 ± 4.0% (P = .009), while the mean total points scored during the LSST was significantly reduced by 7.6 ± 7.0 points (P = .012). When fatigued the frequency of shots in the LSST achieving the highest score of 5 points was reduced by 47% while the frequency of shots achieving the lowest 0 point score increased by 85%.


Results show that while 45 min of exercise caused no decrements in sprint performance there were significant reductions in the ability to perform soccer-specific skills. Both the speed (dribbling time) and accuracy (shot performance) with which soccer-specific skills were executed was impaired following exercise replicating one-half of a soccer match.

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Jonathan L. Oliver, Craig A. Williams and Neil Armstrong

The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of a field and a laboratory test of repeated sprint ability (RSA). Twelve adolescent boys (15.3 ± 0.3 years) completed five trials of both a field RSA test (7 × 30 m sprints) and a laboratory RSA test (7 × 5 s sprints) performed on a nonmotorized treadmill. Mean coefficients of variation (CV) calculated across all trials were < 2.7% for field sprint times, and, in the laboratory, < 2.9% for velocity and < 8.4% for power output. Fatigue indices (FI) calculated from data in both environments exhibited mean CVs > 23%. The inconsistency in the FIs resulted from the mathematical procedures used in the FI calculation methods. Based on the reliability scores, it was concluded that results obtained from measured performance variables in the field and laboratory, and not calculated FIs, should be used to report RSA.

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Robert W. Meyers, Jonathan L. Oliver, Michael G. Hughes, John B. Cronin and Rhodri S. Lloyd

The purpose of this study was to examine the natural development of the mechanical features of sprint performance in relation to maturation within a large cohort of boys. Three hundred and thirty-six boys (11-15 years) were analyzed for sprint performance and maturation. Maximal speed, stride length (SL), stride frequency (SF), flight time (FT) and contact time (CT) were assessed during a 30m sprint. Five maturation groups (G1-5) were established based on age from peak height velocity (PHV) where G1=>2.5years pre-PHV, G2 = 2.49-1.5years pre-PHV, G3 = 1.49-0.5years pre-PHV, G4 = 0.49years pre- to 0.5years post-PHV and G5 = 0.51-1.5years post-PHV. There was no difference in maximal speed between G1, G2 and G3 but those in G4 and G5 were significantly faster (p < .05) than G1-3. Significant increases (p < .05) in SL were observed between groups with advancing maturation, except G4 and G5 (p > .05). SF decreased while CT increased (both p < .05) between G1, G2 and G3, but no further significant changes (p > .05) were observed for either variable between G3, G4 and G5. While G1-3 increased their SL, concomitant decreases in SF and increases in CT prevented them from improving maximal speed. Maximal sprint speed appears to develop around and post-PHV as SF and CT begin to stabilize, with increases in maximal sprint speed in maturing boys being underpinned by increasing SL.

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Keeron J. Stone, Jonathan L. Oliver, Michael G. Hughes, Michael R. Stembridge, Daniel J. Newcombe and Robert W. Meyers

Existing procedures for the simulation of soccer match play fail to incorporate multidirectional and repeated-sprint activities, even though these movements are considered fundamental to match play. In the current study, selected physiological and performance responses were assessed during an adapted version of an existing soccer simulation protocol. Mean heart rates of 163 ± 14 beats·min–1, mean blood lactates of 4.9 ± 2.3 mmol·L-1 and decrements in single-sprint and repeated-sprint performances were observed. The presented adaptations to an existing soccer simulation protocol better reflect the movement characteristics as well as the physiological and performance responses of soccer match play.