Does Resisted Sled Towing Improve the Physical Qualities of Elite Youth Soccer Players of Differing Maturity Status?

Myers, Tony D., Morris, Rhys, Emmonds, Stacey, Singleton, Dave and Till, Kevin (2021) Does Resisted Sled Towing Improve the Physical Qualities of Elite Youth Soccer Players of Differing Maturity Status? Journal of Science in Sport and Exercise (3). pp. 75-87. ISSN 2096-6709

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Purpose: Sled towing has been shown to be an effective method to enhance the physical qualities in youth athletes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a 6-week sled towing intervention on muscular strength, speed and power in elite youth soccer players of differing maturity status. Method: Seventy-three male elite youth soccer players aged 12–18 years (Pre-Peak Height Velocity [PHV] n=25; Circa-PHV n=24; Post-PHV n=24) participated in this study from one professional soccer academy. Sprint assessments (10 and 30 m), countermovement jump and isometric mid-thigh pull were undertaken before (T1) and after (T2) a 6-week intervention. The training intervention consisted of 6 weeks (2 x per week, 10 sprints over 20 m distance) of resisted sled towing (linear progression 10 to 30% of body mass) during the competitive season. Bayesian regression models analysed differences between T1 and T2 within each maturity group. Results: There were minimal changes in strength, speed and power (p=0.35-0.80) for each maturity group across the 6-week intervention. Where there were changes with greater certainty, they are unlikely to represent real effect due to higher regression to the mean (RTM). Conclusion: It appears that a 6-week sled towing training programme with loadings of 10-30% body mass only maintains physical qualities in elite youth soccer players Pre-, Circa-, and Post-PHV. Further research is required to determine the effectiveness of this training method in long-term athletic development programmes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Science and Sport in Exercise. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Divisions: Faculty of of Arts, Society and Professional Studies > Department of Health and Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Hazel Barham
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2020 13:55
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2022 05:00

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