A fitness evaluation of a college soccer team during preparation for a national tournament
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Preparation of teams for competitions is increasingly under the spotlight. Such preparations have to incorporate appropriate scientific principles of coaching if performance is to be optimized The purpose of this study was to establish if there was any significant improvement in the selected physical fitness components of players after an eight week period of training. Sixteen soccer players were subjected to training while preparing for a national competition. The testing on the components of cardio-respiratory endurance (12 min. run/walk), speed (50 m-dash), leg power (vertical jump), abdominal strength (bent leg sit-ups), and flexibility (sit-and-reach) was done in the 2nd and ¢h weeks of the training period The data collected was descriptively analysed and the dependent 't '-test used to determine the significance of the difference between the pre- and post-test means. The findings showed a significant improvement in the cardio-respiratory endurance, speed, abdominal strength, while the improvement in the leg power and flexibility was not significant. It was concluded that the load administered did not elicit improvement in all the fitness components tested due to the competition oriented training which failed to target all the fitness components given the short period of training prior to competition.