Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award

8-2016

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Brad H. DeWeese

Committee Members

Kimitake Sato, Kenneth P. Clark, Michael H. Stone

Abstract

The purposes of this dissertation were three-fold. The first was to identify the approximate distances characterizing early-, mid-, and late-acceleration in a population of Division I men’s collegiate soccer players. The secondary purpose was to investigate the relationships between various strength-power variables and key sprint characteristics during early-, mid-, and late-acceleration in a population of Division I men’s soccer players. The final purpose of this dissertation was to compare the spatiotemporal characteristics of “strong” versus “weak” and “more powerful” versus “less powerful” Division I men’s soccer players during early-, mid-, and late- acceleration. The following are the major findings of this dissertation. The early-, mid-, and late-acceleration zones within this sport population coincide with distances of approximately 0-2.5, 2.5-6, and 6-12m, respectively. Peak power (PP) and rate of force development (RFD) at 90ms appear to be strongly related to shorter ground contact times in each of these zones, while PP and RFD at 200 and 250ms showed strong relationships with step frequency during mid-acceleration. Not surprisingly, athletes who were characterized as “strong” or demonstrated “higher power outputs” appeared to achieve greater sprint velocity by expressing higher step frequency, particularly during mid-acceleration, as well as abbreviated ground contact times across each sub-section of acceleration. These results support the importance of developing high levels of maximal strength, PP, and RFD to enhance sprint acceleration. Additionally, these findings may also be used to strategically integrate speed development and resistance training practices into the annual training plan. The amalgamation of these training variables may allow practitioners to better manage fatigue and elicit desired performance adaptations at the appropriate times of the training year.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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