Physical Fitness in Female Soccer Players by Player Position: A Focus on Anaerobic Power
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Purpose. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between player position and physical fitness, with an emphasis on anaerobic power, in female soccer players. Methods. For this purpose, 54 first league female soccer players were recruited. They included goalkeepers (n = 4, age 22.89 ± 4.37 years), defenders (n = 21, 21.92 ± 3.81 years), midfielders (n = 22, 21.71 ± 4.70 years) and attackers (n = 7, 20.43 ± 4.70 years). Participants’ anthropometric characteristics were measured and a physical fitness test battery was administered. Results. significant differences were observed in body fat percentage (F3,50 = 3.06, p = 0.036, n2 = 0.16) with goalkeepers being fatter than defenders (mean difference 6.1%; 95% CI 0.3,11.9). Positional differences were also found in the sit-and-reach test (F3,50 = 4.46, p = 0.007, n2 = 0.21), in which goalkeepers scored lower than defenders (-11.4 cm; 95% CI -21.4, -1.5) and midfielders (-10.0 cm; 95% CI -19.9, 0). Comparison of fat mass and endomorphy were statistically significant (p = 0.057 and p = 0.062, respectively), with goalkeepers showing the highest values; these differences were in the same direction as with body fat percentage. No positional differences were found in the other physical fitness components (aerobic capacity, anaerobic power, and muscle strength). Conclusions. Differences among player positions were observed in body composition (highest body fat percentage in goalkeepers) and flexibility (lowest score in goalkeepers). These trends are in agreement with previously published data concerning elite soccer players. These findings might be used as reference data by coaches and trainers to identify talent, select players, and monitor training.
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