chapter  42
Specificity of Acceleration, Maximum Speed and Agility in Professional Soccer Players
Pages 2

The capability of football players to produce varied high-speed actions is known to impact upon soccer match performance (Luhtanen, 2000). While high speed actions only contribute to 11% of total distance covered, high-speed movements constitute the more crucial moments of the game and contribute directly to winning possession of the ball and to the scoring or conceding of goals (Bangsbo, 1994). Superior performance in varied speed tests of professional players compared to the general population, and within higher standards of soccer, would indicate that certain speed attributes would be advantageous for elite soccer (Kollath and Quade, 1993). While developed tactical sense and high technical ability can certainly compensate for deficiencies in speed elements, it is clear that excelling in acceleration, top speed and agility will help predispose a person towards elite soccer, and improving these attributes will enhance the performance of players.