2006 Volume 25 Issue 4 Pages 291-297
This study evaluates the physical and physiological ability of selected soccer players of Kunimi High School in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The Kunimi team is famous for its intensive training, and had won the championship of the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament six times by 2003. We measured physique, body composition, and maximal oxygen uptake of 72 members aged between 16 and 18 years old between 1986 and 1994. They consisted of 66 outfield players (12 forward players, 23 midfielders, 31 defenders) and 6 goalkeepers. Body density was measured by the under-water weighing method, and Brozek's equation was applied to calculate percentage body fat (%Fat, %), fat-free mass (FFM, kg), FFM/height (FFM/Ht, kg·m−1), and FFM index (FFM/Ht3, kg·m−3). The following results were obtained:
1. The average of 66 outfield players was 172.7 cm of height, 64.6 kg of weight, 54.0 cm of girth of thigh, and 90.0 cm of girth of hip, 9.3% of %Fat, 58.6 kg of FFM, 33.9 kg·m−1 of FFM/Ht and 113.8 kg·m−3 of FFM index. The mean vital capacity was 4.25 L and total lung capacity was 5.58 L. The mean maximal ventilation was 138.7 L·min−1, VO2max was 3.95 L·min−1, and VO2max/Wt was 61.4 ml·kg−1·min−1.
2. Goalkeepers were taller and heavier than outfielders, and had a smaller mean value of VO2max/Wt than outfielders (p<0.01).
3. For 23 out of the 72 players measured twice with an interval of about one year, FFM increased and %Fat reduced significantly, while VEmax, VO2max and VO2max/Wt did not change.
Kunimi players of the present study had as large a VO2max/Wt as local players, and a similar or slightly smaller VO2max/Wt than national-level players. They had similar %Fat and a similar VO2max/Wt with professional soccer players in England (Davis et al., 1992) while they had much smaller physiques.