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Physical development, and progression to professional soccer, of elite child and adolescent academy players

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The research described within this thesis was undertaken to investigate the physical development, and progression to professional soccer, of elite child and adolescent academy players.

Firstly, a detailed understanding of professional practitioners perceptions of physical performance in soccer was developed. Secondly, a valid and reliable battery of physical field tests was established to examine the physical performance characteristics of elite child and adolescent soccer players. Finally, this battery of physical performance tests was administered to elite child and adolescent players in English professional soccer academies over a three year period.

Coaches (n=170), fitness professionals (n=172) and players (n=101) perceptions of physical performance in soccer were assessed by means of a questionnaire.

Speed was considered the principle physical attribute by coaches, with 80.5% deeming it as very important .

Most coaches (88.8%), fitness professionals (93.0%) and players (89.1%) believed the relative importance of each physical attribute differed according to playing position.

A players physical attributes were regarded by coaches as important (44.1%) and very important (41.8%) in the process of offering professional playing contracts.

Most coaches (71.2%), fitness professionals (68.6%) and players (65.3%) thought international players physical attributes were different to club players.

Nearly all coaches (93.5%), fitness professionals (86.6%) and players (83.2%) believed the physical attributes of players had become more important in the modern day game.

It was widely considered by coaches (73.5%), fitness professionals (52.9%) and players (74.3%) that players from certain ethnic groups were naturally more physically able.

Logical validity of physical performance testing was demonstrated by the majority of coaches (97.0%), fitness professionals (93.5%) and players (83.1%) considering testing to be an important aspect of preparation in soccer. Construct validity of vertical jump (RJ; CMJ; CMJA), sprint (10 m and 20 m) and agility tests was shown by their ability to distinguish between different age groups (p<0.01) and ability groups (p<0.05) of players.

Absolute reliability of the physical performance tests was established with repeatability on the vertical jump tests ranging from 3.2 cm to 3.5 cm for the RJ and CMJA, respectively, whilst repeatability on the sprint tests ranged from 0.07 s to 0.24 s on the 10 m sprint and agility test, respectively. ICC and PCC values to assess the relative reliability of the physical performance tests were all high (>0.90) ranging from 0.96 for the agility test to 0.99 for the 20 m sprint.

  

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 editors comments   

Editor's comments -  [ The above is the abstract from an original PhD thesis; the final publication in the study for the author in pursuit of a doctorate; such works result in the author being awarded a PhD and the title of Dr. by an appropriately accedited University. PhD's are the culmination of a number of years work by the author supervised by two (normally PhD or MPhil qualified) academics and, with the addition of a further appropriately qualified academic (not normally from the same University) as part of a viva-voce examination team. Successful research work at PhD level is designed to add to the body of knowledge in the study area at some level.  

A PhD thesis often forms the foundation for journal articles for the author and leads to further enquiry in the form of what is called post-doctoral research. These works are characterised by comprehensive literature reviews, sometimes traditional yet multiple (and often mixed) methods, interesting if not ground breaking discussions and always directional signs toward further research; they provide for undergraduates not only a model for the possibilities for further study but a gift in terms of references in any given subject areas.

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Our best advice is to reference list internet sourced theses as ‘published’….  ie.;  Author, (date). Title (emphasised). Place of publication and (university) publisher. Available from: URL reference.  See our example reference below. ]  

 

APA reference for this document

 

Reference :    Hulse, M.A. (2010). Physical development, and progression to professional soccer, of elite child and adolescent academy players. PhD Thesis. Loughborough: Loughborough University. Available at http://hdl.handle.net/2134/6767

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 12:21