Effects of an integrative neuromuscular training protocol vs. FIFA 11+ on sprint, change of direction performance and inter-limb asymmetries in young soccer players

Jorge Arede, John Fernandes, Jason Moran, Nuno Leite, Daniel Romero-Rodriguez, Marc Madruga-Parera

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Abstract

This study compared the effects of integrative neuromuscular training (INT) versus FIFA 11+ protocols on sprint, change of direction performance and inter-limb asymmetries. Thirty young (U-11) male soccer players (age: 11.2 ± 0.7 years; height: 145.6 ± 6.8 cm; body mass: 72.5 ± 3.0 kg) were randomly assigned to each training groups, which consisted of two sessions/week for a period of 6-weeks. The INT consisted of play-based tasks designed according to structured training principles, whereas the FIFA 11+ followed standard procedures. Before and after the intervention, 0-20 sprint time and double 180º change of direction test were measured from which change of direction deficit and inter-limb asymmetries were also computed. Significant improvements were found in double 180º change of direction test and deficit for both legs in both groups (all p < 0.01). A significant decrease was observed in 0-20 sprint time (p < 0.05), and inter-limb asymmetries for FIFA 11+ group. A significant group-by-time effect, which favored the FIFA 11+ group, was observed on double 180º change of direction in right leg (F = 15.08, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.35), but also in change of direction deficit in right (F = 214.19, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.88), and left legs (F = 126.79, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.82). These findings suggest youth soccer practitioners should select the FIFA 11+ program to improve inter-limb asymmetries and 0-20 sprint time, and that both training methods are suitable to improve 180º change of direction performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Early online date29 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Association football, physical fitness, warm-up, youth sport

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