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.