Central European Journal of Medicine

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 803–809 | Cite as

Influence of various preseason training in elite youth soccer players

  • Raymond Best
  • Perikles Simon
  • Andreas Niess
  • Heiko Striegel
Research Article



Endurance capacity of each individual soccer player can notably influence a team’s success. The opinion about the necessity of generic endurance specific training in soccer, especially in adolescent athletes, still varies widely.


We examined n = 38 elite premier league youth soccer players from three different age groups and with a different amount of endurance specific training. Two identical graded incremental exercise tests were performed before and after a 5 weeks training intervention. Besides soccer specific training, the different groups absolved either 25–30% (U16 and U19) or < 5% (U17) of generic endurance specific training as well as soccer specific endurance training. After the training intervention the alterations of blood lactate concentration (La-), the individual anaerobic threshold (LT) as well as the 4 mmol/-1 threshold were determined.


Running velocity of the U16 and U19 players at individual anaerobic threshold and at the 4 mmol/-1 threshold increased significantly. In contrast, no changes of the LT or 4 mmol/-1 threshold could be detected for the U17 players.


The individual endurance capacity of young elite soccer players can be improved significantly, even over a short preseason period, by performing an adequate amount of generic endurance specific training.


Aerobic exercise Anaerobic threshold Athletes Exercise testing Adolescent 


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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Best
    • 1
  • Perikles Simon
    • 2
  • Andreas Niess
    • 1
  • Heiko Striegel
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Clinic and Policlinic, Department of Sports MedicineEberhard Karls UniversityTuebingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Sports Science, Sports Medicine SectionJohannes Gutenberg UniversityMainzGermany

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