Interactive Improvements of Visual and Auditory Function for Enhancing Performance in Youth Soccer Players
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
We analyzed the effects of a regular training program on the health- and skill-related physical fitness (PF) of talented soccer players aged < 12 years; visual reaction time (VRT) and auditory reaction time (ART) were also assessed. In this single-group interventional study, 78 talented male youth soccer players (mean age, 9.54 years) were critically selected by the Korean Educational Development Institute and underwent a 22-week training program consisting of 16 weeks of PF and basic skill
... and basic skill training (90 min/week) and 6 weeks of intensive training (3, 150-min sessions/week). We assessed the pre- and post-training body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility. We also measured power, agility, coordination and speed, passing ability, VRT, and ART. All variables improved after training. Post-training VRT correlated with ART, muscle mass, power, cardiovascular endurance, 10-m dribble time, 10-m ball touch count, and 10-m successful pass count. ART only correlated with muscle mass. ART and 10-m ball-touch count influenced VRT, and VRT influenced ART. In conclusion, the training program enhanced the PF and visual- and auditory-related reactions in talented youth soccer players. This study suggests the importance of the assessed relationships, indicating that a training program that improves these parameters enhances the players' performance.