The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of dynamic balance (DB), flexibility and aerobic endurance in relation to change of direction (COD), and to compare playing positions in terms of COD, dynamic balance, flexibility, and aerobic endurance in young male soccer players.
Material and Method. Forty-seven amateur soccer players aged 15-17yrs (U17) (16.21±0.68yrs, 10 center backs, 9 side backs, 10 midfielders, 11 wingers, 7 strikers) were included in the study. COD performance was assessed using the 505 and T-tests. The sit and reach test was used for the assessment of flexibility, the star excursion balance test for dynamic balance and Cooper’s test for aerobic endurance. Results. The 505 test was correlated with Anterior (right) balance (p=0.036, r=0.306) and VO2max (p=0.011, r=-0.367), and the T-test was correlated with postero-lateral (left) balance (p=0.009, r=-0.377) and VO2max (p<0.0001, r=-0.564). Postero-medial (right) balance was different in favor of midfielders compared with side backs (p=0.037, 95% -23.12/-0.537). The VO2max (p=0.01) and anterior (right) balance (p=0.03) were found as significant determiners for the 505 test (R2=0.223). The VO2max (p<0.0001) and postero-lateral (left) balance (p=0.01) were found as significant determiners for the T-test (R2=0.414).
Conclusions. This study showed that the aerobic endurance was a determiner for the 505 and T-tests in young male soccer players. The relationship between COD performance and dynamic balance was dependent on the COD test. COD, aerobic endurance or flexibility did not differ but dynamic balance could vary depending on the game positions.
soccer, athletic performance, athletes, 505-change of direction test, T-test
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