University footballers’ game-position-specific physical fitness and physical development tests and analysis

PhD, Associate Professor E.A. Alenurov1
PhD, Associate Professor M.V. Eremin2
PhD, Associate Professor A.N. Lutkov3
S.V. Pershikov4
1, 2Russian State Social University, Moscow
3Penza State University, Penza
4Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow

Corresponding author: alenurov@mail.ru

Abstract

Objective of the study was to test and analyze the physical development/ physical fitness in the university football teams versus the players’ game positions.

Methods and structure of the study. We sampled the university football players in Moscow and tested them in March through October 2019 by the standard physical development tests to obtain the body mass, body length, chest size, vital capacity, carpal strength and limb length test rates; and standard physical fitness test toolkit including the 15m sprint (standard/ running start), 30m sprint, 7x50m shuttle sprint, 12-min race, standing high jump, standing long jump, and five-time standing long jump tests.

Results and conclusion. The game-position-specific chest size was expectedly correlated with the vital capacity rates that averaged for wing defenders, forwards, goalkeepers, central defenders, wing defenders and central midfielders. On the whole, the physical fitness test data and analyses made it possible to profile the university football players’ physical fitness on a game-position-specific basis.

The game-position-specific physical fitness / physical development test data analyzed given herein are recommended for application by the university football sport communities in their trainings and line-ups for competitions and for the physical fitness / physical development excellence trainings sensitive to the players’ game positions. 

Keywords: physical development, physical fitness, test data correlations, football players, university students, game positions.

Background. Modern football communities give a special priority to the physical development / physical fitness data as a basis for successful technical and tactical performance [1, 3]. Traditional progress concepts with their preference for the physical fitness versatility are increasingly sensitive to the new theoretical recommendations to have the physical fitness being prudently customized to the players’ game positions [2, 4, 5]. These provisions, however, are still underdeveloped for the professional football, whilst university football lags far behind in these research aspects.

Objective of the study was to test and analyze the physical development/ physical fitness in the university football teams versus the players’ game positions.

Methods and structure of the study. We sampled the university football players in Moscow and tested them in March through October 2019 by the standard physical development tests to obtain body mass, body length, chest size, vital capacity, carpal strength and limb length test rates; and standard physical fitness test toolkit including the 15m sprint (standard/ running start), 30m sprint, 7x50m shuttle sprint, 12-min race, standing high jump, standing long jump, and five-time standing long jump tests.

Results and discussion. The average body length was as follows: goalkeepers: 182.8±4.9cm, central defenders: 180.5±3.6cm, central midfielders: 177.2+3.4cm; wing midfielders: 176.4±4.8cm, wing defenders: 175.5±3.5cm; and forwards: 174.0±4.7cm. The goalkeepers, central defenders, central midfielders, wing midfielders, wing defenders and forwards body mass was tested to average 76.2±6.9; 72.6±4.8; 69.0±3.4; 68.9±3.6; 67.9±5.3 and 67.2±4.8kg, respectively. The resting chest size was the highest for goalkeepers (92.1±6.3cm), followed by wing defenders, central defenders, central midfielders, forwards and wing midfielders with 91.1±2.9cm, 90.2±3.2cm, 89.9±3.4cm, 89.5±3.3cm and 87.2±3.3cm, respectively. The game-position-specific chest size was expectedly correlated with the vital capacity rates that averaged for wing defenders, forwards, goalkeepers, central defenders, wing defenders and central midfielders 4653±551ml; 4558±415ml; 4450±548ml; 4408±485ml; 4333±492ml and 4220±420ml, respectively.

Leading in the arm size was goalkeepers with 80,7±4,4cm followed by the central defenders, wing defenders, central midfielders, wing midfielders and forwards with 79,5±2,4cm, 78,9±2,4cm, 77,4±2,3cm, 76,3±2,6cm and 75,3±3,1cm, respectively. The lower limbs in distal-proximal segments were rated in the central defenders, goalkeepers, central midfielders, wing midfielders, wing defenders and forwards at 96,9±2,4cm, 95,6±8,1cm, 94,9±3,6cm, 93,6±4,0cm, 93,4±2,8cm and 92,6±3,8cm, respectively. On the carpal strength (right/ left) scales, the sample was ranked as follows: goalkeepers: 49,9±8,8 and 47,5±9,2kg; central defenders: 47,4±6,1 and 45,3±6,2kg; central midfielders: 47,4±6,6 and 43,3±5,6kg; wing defenders: 45,8±5,4 and 42,9±9,9kg; wing midfielders: 45,1±5,2 and 41,4±5,8kg; and forwards: 45,0±4,2 and 41,1±5,2kg.

Many experts tend to believe that it is not necessary anymore to develop every physical quality for the top excellence in team sports since the trainings should be rather focused on the game-position-specific needs with the key progress factors to give special priority to the key functions, organs and systems critical for the competitive performance. In this context, we tested the sample by a standard physical fitness test toolkit including the 15m sprint (standard/ running start), 30m sprint, 7x50m shuttle sprint, 12-min race, standing high jump, standing long jump, and five-time standing long jump.

Leading in the standard 15m sprint tests were the forwards and central defenders with 2,75±0,10s and 2,77±0,12s, respectively, versus the rest of the sample that scored 2,78±0,09s to 2,84±0,11s. The last in the test were goalkeepers with 2,88±0,13s. Leading in the running 15m sprint test were the wing midfielders and forwards with 1,82±0,05s and 1,83±0,06s, respectively; followed by central defenders, wing defenders, central midfielders and goalkeepers with 1,85±0,09s; 1,86±0,07s, 1,87±0,07s and 1,88±0,06s.

Leading in the 30m sprint were forwards with 4,24±0,11s followed by wing midfielders, central defenders, wing defenders, central midfielders and goalkeepers with 4,29±0,12s, 4,33±0,17s, 4,35±0,15s, 4,37±0,14s and 4,45±0,16s, respectively. Leading in the 7х50m shuttle sprint test were the wing midfielders with 63.6±1.8s, whilst the other players were tested with 64.0 to 64.4±2.2s.

Leading in the Cooper 12-min race test were the wing midfielders and central midfielders with 3254±157m and 3244±131m, respectively, whilst the others scored 3124±174m to 3160±151m, and with the goalkeepers again being the last with 3035±106m. The goalkeepers, however, leaded in the standing high jump test with 52,4±2,4cm; followed by central defenders, wing midfielders, central midfielders, forwards and wing defenders with 49,2±2,7cm, 48,3±3,0cm, 47,8±2,9cm, 47,6±2,2cm and 46,9±2,4cm, respectively.

The goalkeepers also leaded in the standing long jump test with 264±11cm, followed by central midfielders, central defenders, wing defenders, forwards and wing midfielders: 248±10cm, 247±12cm, 245±10cm, 239±11cm, respectively. Leading in the five-time standing long jump test were goalkeepers with 13,08±0,91m, followed by wing midfielders, central midfielders, central defenders and wing defenders with 13,14±0,82m; 13,12±0,87m, 13,10±0,93m and 12,51±0,88, respectively. On the whole, the physical fitness test data and analyses made it possible to profile the university football players’ physical fitness on a game-position-specific basis.

Conclusion. The game-position-specific physical fitness / physical development test data analyzed given herein are recommended for application by the university football sport communities in their trainings and line-ups for competitions and for the physical fitness / physical development excellence trainings sensitive to the players’ game positions. 

References

  1. Golomazov S.V., Chirva B.G. Theory and methodology of football: game technique. Moscow: TVT Divizion publ., 2008. 474 p.
  2. Ermolov Y.V. Physical and technical training planning for 11-12-year-old footballers in preparatory period of annual training cycle. PhD diss. abstract. Moscow, 2020. 24 p.
  3. Karpov V.Y., Petrunin R.E., Rodin A.V. Technical training team sports. Vestnik Sochinskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta turizma i kurortnogo dela. 2011. no. 4 (18). pp. 271-273.
  4. Makeev P.V. Strength simulators to build speed and strength in 14-15-year-old footballers of various somatic types and game positions. PhD diss. abstract. Moscow, 2020. 24 p.
  5. Portnov Y.M. Theoretical and scientific-methodological foundations of training skilled team athletes. Doct. diss. Abstract (Hab.). Moscow, 1989. 51 p.