Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between performance test parameters and match-related physical performance in professional soccer players.
Methods: To determine physical capacity, 28 male soccer players underwent several performance tests at the start of the seasons 2013/2014, 2014/2015, and 2015/2016. The following parameters were assessed: maximum running velocity (vmax), fixed (v4mmol/l) and individual anaerobic threshold (vIAS) during an incremental treadmill test; 30-m sprint time in a linear sprint test (LS30m); in a repeated-sprint test, the 30-m sprint time (RST30m) and performance decrement (RSTdecr); and countermovement jump height (CMJ). Match physical performance was quantified during the first ten official matches of each season using a computerized, camera-based tracking system. The following measures of match physical performance were considered: top running speed (TS), mean running speed (vØ), total distance covered (TD), number of sprints (SP), number of high-intensity running (HIR), and aerial duels won (AD+). Pearson correlation coefficients were used for statistical analy ... mehrsis.
Results: Moderate to very large correlations were found between the majority of performance test parameters and match performance variables, with a variability of correlations across the three seasons. Large relationships across all three seasons were only observed between vmax and TD, vmax and vØ, LS30m and TS as well as RST30m and TS.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the relationship between several performance test parameters and match-related physical performance in professional soccer players, thereby supporting the test parameters’ criterion validity. vmax, LS30m, and RST30m seem to be the most consistent parameters.