Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award

8-2016

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Satoshi Mizuguchi

Committee Members

Michael H. Stone, Kimitake Sato, Adam L. Sayers

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to better understand position specific physical qualities and how they relate to high speed running performance throughout the course of a competitive collegiate soccer season. The amount of literature devoted to female soccer players is scarce when compared to the vast amount of literature associated with male soccer players. The objectives of this dissertation were: 1) to determine if playing position has an influence on physical qualities such as speed, change of direction ability, countermovement jump performance, relative strength, rate of force development, and intermittent endurance capacity, 2) investigate the differences between high and lower caliber players as defined by minutes played per match when considering the physical qualities mentioned previously, 3) and finally to assess the influence of physical qualities and playing position on high speed running performance throughout the course of a competitive season. Data from 57 Division I Women’s Collegiate soccer players from a single institution were used. The influence of playing position and caliber of play on physical qualities were assessed using both laboratory and field based testing assessments. It appears that attacking based players (forward, wide midfielder, and attacking midfielder) were faster compared to defensive based players (central defensive midfielder, central defender, and goalkeeper) when assessed during 20 m sprint assessments and change of direction ability assessments. The only variable to differentiate between caliber of play was the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test – Level 1 (YYIRT1), indicating that higher caliber players possess greater intermittent endurance capacity compared to lower caliber players. Playing position was the major contributor when assessing high speed running performance during competition, explaining almost 70% of the variance. These findings highlight the impact of tactical factors on physical performance during competition and the need for position based assessments to better identify relevant physical qualities with respect to playing position in Division I Women’s Collegiate Soccer players. Further research is needed with a wider range of players from various levels to determine if these findings exist across all levels or are unique to the institution used during these investigations.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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