University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Seasonal Variations in the Physiological Fitness of Semi-Professional Footballers (Abstract)

Caldwell, B. and Peters, D.M. ORCID: (2007) Seasonal Variations in the Physiological Fitness of Semi-Professional Footballers (Abstract). Journal of Sports Sciences, 25 (3). pp. 367-368. ISSN 1466-447X

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The physiological demands of football require
players to be competent in several aspects of fitness,
including aerobic fitness, anaerobic power,
muscular strength, agility, and flexibility (Reilly &
Williams, 2003: Science and soccer, 2nd edn. London:
Routledge). While research has investigated seasonal
changes in these parameters in professional footballers,
there is a paucity of research with part-time,
semi-professional players. The aim of this study was
to investigate seasonal variations in the physiological
fitness of semi-professional footballers over a 12-
month period.
After receiving institutional ethical approval, 13
male footballers from the English Nationwide Conference
North League participated in the study (mean
age 24.4 years, s¼4.8; body mass 75.6 kg, s¼6.1;
height 1.78 m, s¼0.06). Each player was tested five
times over a 12-month period (end season 2004 –
2005; pre pre-season 2005 – 2006, post pre-season,
mid-season, and end season 2005 – 2006) with data
gathered using bio-electrical impedance, the 20-m
multi-stage fitness test, countermovement standing
vertical jump (SVJ) with arm-swing, 15-m sprint, the
Illinois agility test, and the sit-and-reach test.
Repeated-measures analysis of variance followed
by paired samples t-tests with Bonferroni correction
(P50.01) was used to identify significant differences
in progressive stages of the season (see
Table I).
The de-conditioning apparent in all fitness parameters
in the off-season, in conjunction with
progressive improvement in most players from post
pre-season to mid-season, would support these
parameters as sport-specific fitness requirements.
Such improvements suggest that the short-term
demands of playing and training in the first half of
the season develop fitness and these trends are
similar to those for professional players (Brady et al.,
1995: Journal of Sports Sciences, 13, 499).
Further research is needed to identify if the plateau
in fitness from mid-season is due to attaining the
required level of fitness, fatigue, allied training or
even relative success. Enhancing off-season training
may enable yearly fitness increases by at least
maintaining fitness levels for next year’s pre-season.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Abstract of a paper presented at the Annual Conference of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus, 11 – 13 September, 2007.
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: semi-professional footballers, seasonal variations, physiological fitness
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2010 11:23
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 16:53

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