The implemented functional soccer-specyfic training can significantly improve stability index of the knee of supporting limb and increase shot on target precission in young soccer players
Personalised functional training plays a major role in improving motor skills and stability. It enhances a player’s ability to control their body and movement, thus improves their performance and reduces the risk of injury.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the lower limbs’ stability level under dynamic conditions and the stability’s influence on soccer players’ precision while shooting on target in case of young soccer players.
Sample and methods:
The study group included 13 soccer players from AGAPE Soccer Academy (14 years old, height 149,6±3,1cm, weight 41,8±3,3kg), whereas the control group comprised of 16 players, who have not undergone the functional training sessions (14 years old, height 148,1±4,3cm, weight 40,5±4,1kg).
The dynamic stabilography was recorded on Biodex Balance System platform. Athlete Single Leg Stability Test was used. Measurement included 3 repetitions in single-leg stance on the unstable surface of platform in 30seconds intervals. For data analysis, the bending dispersion in the medial/lateral plane, and anterior/posterior plane, along with the overall stability index (OSI) were tested.
To rate players’ precision 11-meter Shooting Test was performed measuring the precision of a shot on the box divided into areas worth points (5 attempts, score 15pts) and Loughborouh Soccer Shooting Test that evaluates the shot on target precision under dynamic conditions after receiving the ball (10 attempts, score 50pts).
The preliminary study was performed before the beginning of the preparatory period. Throughout this period (12 weeks), the motor activity training programme was completed (45minutes, twice a week). The programme included elements such as: functional soccer training, balance training on unstable ground, core stability training, dynamic stability exercises. Control group completed the standard soccer training programme. After the preparatory period, physical examinations were performed. Test results were statistically analysed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test in order to establish the parameters’ changes within the study group and the U-Mann-Whitney test was applied in order to estimate the variances between the study and control group. To establish codependencies between supporting leg’s stability and the precision of a shot on target a Pearson correlation coefficient was used. The statistical significance threshold was set to p=0,05.
The study proved a statistically significant improvement of stability parameters expressed by the overall stability index (OSI) and A/P stability index for the supporting limb within study group after the preparatory period (OSI index: before 2,9±1,1; after 2,0±0,6; p=0,0033 and A/P index: before 2,3±0,9; after 1,5±0,5; p=0,0058).
Folllowing the preparatory period a statistically significant improvement of shot’s precision was observed within the study group (11-meter Shooting Test: before 7,3±2,3; after 12,1±2,5; p=0,014; Loughborough Soccer Shooting Test: before 31,6±11,3; after 44,2±5,8; p=0,038). These results correspond with increased stability level of supporting leg (r=0,63). No significant differences were recorded for control group’s results.
The implemented functional training significantly improved stability index of the supporting limb among tested young players. The results indicate that the players, who underwent the functional training had better stability and shooting precission in comparison to the control group. Obtained results encourage to further exploring codependencies between the dynamic stability and soccer achievements.