Assessment of sprinting skill of soccer players based on straight and zig-zag sprint tests
The mastery of maximal and high-intensity physical activities is key for successful performance in football. The aim of this study was to compare respective sprinting skills of Polish and South African soccer players by conducting straight and zig-zag sprint tests. The study sample comprised a total of 40 college level soccer players, 20 from Poland and 20 from South Africa. The sprint tests included a 30m-straight sprint test and a 30m-Zig-zag sprint test. ANOVA, followed by Fisher’s LSD as a post-hoc test, were used for statistical analysis. The study found that the Polish players were significantly faster by a margin of 0.117 seconds (p≤0.001) than their South African counterparts, and developed a significantly higher running speed with a corresponding margin of 0.198m/s (p≤0.001) after 30 metres. In the 30m-Zig-zag sprint test, the Polish players also exhibited a significantly higher level of speed skills than the South African players, with a difference in a running time of 0.939 seconds (p≤0.001) and in a running speed of 0.307m/s (p≤0.001) that represented greater differences than those found in the 30m straight sprint test.
Keywords: Sprinting skill; Soccer; 30m-Sprint test; 30m-Zig-zag-sprint test; Performance.