Specificity of acceleration, maximum speed, and agility in professional soccer players

J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Feb;19(1):76-8. doi: 10.1519/14253.1.


High-speed actions are known to impact soccer performance and can be categorized into actions requiring maximal speed, acceleration, or agility. Contradictory findings have been reported as to the extent of the relationship between the different speed components. This study comprised 106 professional soccer players who were assessed for 10-m sprint (acceleration), flying 20-m sprint (maximum speed), and zigzag agility performance. Although performances in the three tests were all significantly correlated (p < 0.0005), coefficients of determination (r(2)) between the tests were just 39, 12, and 21% for acceleration and maximum speed, acceleration and agility, and maximum speed and agility, respectively. Based on the low coefficients of determination, it was concluded that acceleration, maximum speed, and agility are specific qualities and relatively unrelated to one another. The findings suggest that specific testing and training procedures for each speed component should be utilized when working with elite players.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Soccer / physiology*