Hannah Elizabeth Ramirez1, Greg A. Ryan2, Drew DeJohn1, Lucas Haaren1, Cameron Horsfall1, Stephen J. Rossi1. 1Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA. 2Piedmont University, Demorest, GA.

BACKGROUND: Preseason is an essential component of sport; it prepares players physiologically for the beginning of competitive season by allowing for improvements in performance and fitness variables. As the season progresses, the need to maintain ideal performance state may be difficult due to accumulating training load. PURPOSE: The purpose was to determine the seasonal variation of power, agility, and body fat percentage (BF%) via a series of tests throughout the competitive season of American professional soccer players. METHODS: 23 male United Soccer League (USL) One players underwent a performance battery (akimbo vertical jump (VJ), reactive strength index (RSI), L-Drill and Pro-Agility Shuttle) and 3-site skinfold BF% analysis at three separate times during the course of a 10-month competitive season. All data was recorded by the same trained exercise professionals for the duration of the season. Repeated measures ANOVA analyses (α = 0.05) was used to determine the seasonal variation at the three-separate timepoints (Preseason (P), Start of regular season (S) and mid-season (M)). Post-hoc analyses on significant omnibus findings were analyzed with Bonferroni correction factor. Players who were exempt from testing due to injury are not included in the ANOVA analyses. RESULTS: For players who completed all three trials (n=15), there was no statistically significant difference for BF% (p = 0.14) and RSI (p = 0.19). A significant main effect was found in VJ (p < 0.01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that P VJ (20.9 ± 2.2in) was less than S (23.5 ± 2.5in; p < 0.01) and M (24.1 ± 2.1 in; p < 0.01). A significant main effect was found in L-Drill (p < 0.01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that P L-Drill (7.73 ± 0.36s) was worse than S (7.27 ± 0.35s; p < 0.01) and M (7.26 ± 0.28s; p < 0.01). A significant main effect was found in Pro Agility (p < 0.01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that P Pro Agility (4.72 ± 0.27s) was worse than S (4.44 ± 0.30s; p < 0.01) and M (4.33±0.12s; p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: It appears that player performance is worse following the offseason compared to other points during the competitive season. Preseason conditioning allows for improvements in power and agility in USL players. Throughout season the maintenance phase of performance variables is essential to ensure optimal performance.

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