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Effects of 10 Months of Speed, Functional, and Traditional Strength Training on Strength, Linear Sprint, Change of Direction, and Jump Performance in Trained Adolescent Soccer Players

Keiner, Michael; Kadlubowski, Björn; Sander, Andre; Hartmann, Hagen; Wirth, Klaus

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 8 - p 2236-2246, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003807


To compare the effects of plyometric and sprint vs. functional vs. strength training (ST) on linear sprint (LS 20 m), change of direction (COD; i.e., turning right and left), jump (squat jump [SJ]), and maximum strength (1 repetition maximum [1RM] for a squat) performance in elite adolescent soccer players.


48 elite male youth were divided into 4 groups:

1. Traditional strength training group [STG].

2. Plyometric and sprint training group [PSTG].

3. Functional training group [FTG].

4. Control group [CG]).

Groups trained for 10 months with additional sessions added to their regular soccer training @ 4–5 sessions per week = 2 sessions a week (@ 60 minutes) consisting of plyometric and sprint training, functional training, and traditional strength training for the PSTG, FTG, and STG, respectively.


This study showed significantly superior performance increases with traditional strength training compared with sprint and jump training and functional training for maximum strength compared with FGT and CG.

No significant different from PSTG, COD and 20-m LS compared with all other groups.


Traditional strength training is recommended to increase strength and speed-strength variables and should therefore be given high priority in athletic training programs for elite youth soccer players. In other words, make strength training the main emphasis when prescribing ancillary work beyond the important practice of sport skills and game strategy that will better prepare athletes to succeed. Increasing muscle strength will augment the ability to run faster, jump higher, and move more efficiently during sport contests. No need to complicate ST so assure your players/clients are 1) doing it on a logically-planned a basis, 2) addressing all major muscle groups, and 3 performing safe and sensible exercises.

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