Thesis title: "Strength training in elite youth soccer players"

Thesis outline: Speed and explosive-strength performance have an essential role in soccer. Explosive actions in the fast and slow stretch-shortening cycle (SSC), like sprinting, jumping or tackling, may determine whether tackle maneuvers are successful, ball possession is won or lost, or goals are scored or prevented; hence, the ability to generate power explosively mainly influences the outcomes of games.

Few studies have analysed the influence of individual muscle groups, such as the triceps surae complex, on SSC performance. Additionally, longitudinal studies investigating the influence of prolonged strength training on sprint, squat jump, counter-movement jump, and drop jump performance in elite athletes are scant.

Therefore, the aim of the project is to compare the effect of a six-months periodised strength training intervention consisting of back squat and standing calf raise as performed in addition to regular soccer training on maximum and reactive strength parameters in youth elite soccer players. Additionally, the project will investigate the influence of different drop heights on reactive strength indices.

Supervisor & Co-Mentor: Robert Csapo, Klaus Wirth, Michael Keiner