Abstract

The main goal of this research was to determine inter and intra positional differences in ball kicking speed between U-16 Croatian soccer players. 44 young soccer players (15.7 ± 1.5 years) were tested with 8 specific soccer field tests that evaluate kicking velocity by using Pocket radar that was reading the ball velocity in km/h. The tests took place two days in a row; beginning at 8 A.M. Prior to the tests, players warmed up and stretched for 20 minutes (13 minutes of running with and without the ball, 7 minutes of dynamic stretching). Inter positional differences were significant (p ≤ 0.05) between midfielders and defenders in all tests and in one test midfielders scored better than strikers. The fastest kicks were instep kicks when stationary and non-stationary ball was kicked. Shots were taken by midfielders with 106.94±7.07 and 101.61±7.88 km/h respectively. Similar to dominant leg, midfielders also achieved the fastest instep kicks with non-dominant leg (91.44±9.56 km/h). Intra positional differences revealed that soccer kick velocity is one of possible selection tools, because more efficient players in all playing lines shoot faster kicks than less efficient players.



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