Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 527–533 | Cite as

Performance-associated parameters of players from the deaf Czech Republic national soccer team: a comparison with hearing first league players

  • Filip NeulsEmail author
  • Michal Botek
  • Jakub Krejci
  • Svatava Panska
  • Jaroslav Vyhnanek
  • Andrew McKune
Original Article



Testing of performance-associated parameters is a routine requirement in high-performance sports. Limited information is available regarding the anthropometrical, physiological and biomechanical characteristics of deaf soccer players.


The primary purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to investigate possible performance-associated differences between the deaf Czech Republic national team soccer players and hearing counterparts from the Czech Republic First League.


Seventy-four male soccer players (31 deaf and 43 hearing, ≥ 17 years of age) underwent laboratory testing that included measurement of autonomic cardiac activity, anthropometrical parameters, vertical jump performance, and maximal aerobic capacity via an incremental running test.


Compared with the hearing players, deaf players were shorter (p = 0.012), had more body fat (p < 0.001), a higher resting heart rate (p = 0.001), and ratio of Ln rMSSD to RR interval length (p = 0.006), while maximal power output (p < 0.001), maximal oxygen uptake (p = 0.003), were significantly lower. After correcting for body fat percentage, the differences were not significant except for maximal power output value.


Being at a disadvantage, the deaf soccer players differ from their hearing counterparts in various physiological or morphological parameters assumed to be associated with sports performance in soccer. However, the differences were minimized when taking 10% of body fat as a cut point into account. Thus, reduction in body fat percentage to the 10% level may be considered as one possible strategy for improving both the physical fitness and adaptability level of the studied deaf soccer players.


Deaf athlete Team sport Maximal oxygen uptake Body composition Heart rate variability 



No financial support was received for the work described in this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

This research was performed in accordance with the ethical guidelines outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Informed Consent

All the players participating in the study were volunteers and had provided their written informed consent before commencement of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Sciences in Kinanthropology, Faculty of Physical CulturePalacký University in OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Applied Physical Activities, Faculty of Physical CulturePalacký University in OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  3. 3.Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health, UC- Research Institute for Sport and ExerciseUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  4. 4.Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences, School of Health SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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