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Old 04-23-2019, 10:03 AM
 
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Are soccer players closer, in physique, to sprinters or middle distance runners?

I always hear soccer players are closer to middle distance runners while NFL DB/WRs are closer to sprinters. I dont believe the latter is true actually. NFL DB/WRs are much heavier than the average elite sprinters. Take Usain Bolt for example. He is listed as 6'5" at 200lbs. While a similar NFL DB/WR in height is Calvin Johnson and he is 230lbs. Much heavier. For all the other sprinters under 6ft or close to it, I have not seen any evidence they weigh more than 180lbs, while any NFL DB/WR is going to try and get as close to 200lbs at least. NFL DB/WRs need to be able to tackle, and take hits, so more weight is better. Darelle Revis is around 5'10" ~ 5'11" ish and is about 195lbs if not more.

At the same time, you have Virgil Van Dijk who is 6'4" listed at 200lbs, Cristiano Ronaldo at 6'1" and ~175lbs, Kyle Walker at 5'10" and probably around ~180lbs and below, Kylian Mbappe same thing etc, etc. I know those are only a few examples but from watching T&F, or elite soccer, you can see each athlete has similar build to the athletes in their same respective sport.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
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Soccer players in general are normally freak athletes. They tend to have much more upper-mid body strength than people would believe.
That being said, overall, I'm not sure which they would be closer to. On one hand, you have some guys who probably trained as sprinters in the past, who now play pro/elite soccer. On the other hand... I don't think most of them have glutes like the typical sprinter, or NFL WR, needed for that quick 0-top speed burst. Difference is, soccer players don't normally need to take off and reach full speed from a dead start. They are normally constantly on the move, even if just slow-jogging or even walking.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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My guess is it varies by position. Wingers need the burst speed of sprinters, but most players are probably endurance runners. Goalkeepers don't run much; they're probably more bursty. I'll bet they have strong ankles.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Near Sacramento
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Soccer athletes can make good distance runners or sprinters. For sprints, they often have to learn to sprint correctly. Once, they do, they often are pretty darn good 400 runners because they do have a lot of endurance.


One of our female soccer athletes that also runs is good at the 200, 400, and 800. Not a normal combo, but she knows how to run the different races.


I think most good soccer players typically have a bigger upper body than runners.

cd :O)
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Soccer players in general are normally freak athletes. They tend to have much more upper-mid body strength than people would believe.
That being said, overall, I'm not sure which they would be closer to. On one hand, you have some guys who probably trained as sprinters in the past, who now play pro/elite soccer. On the other hand... I don't think most of them have glutes like the typical sprinter, or NFL WR, needed for that quick 0-top speed burst. Difference is, soccer players don't normally need to take off and reach full speed from a dead start. They are normally constantly on the move, even if just slow-jogging or even walking.
Maybe pound for pound, but soccer players dont have the muscle mass of say NFL or rugby. They dont need to tackle, only to box out. There quite a few wrestling matches going on in a soccer game especially in the corners, but they cant just explode and shove their opponent down like NFL or rugby.

They may not have larger glutes, but running is not all about glutes. Your hamstrings need to be powerful too. Also soccer players are lighter than NFL or rugby so they do need as much muscle to get up to high speed. That also means they should be able to last much longer if asked to run over and over with no breaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
My guess is it varies by position. Wingers need the burst speed of sprinters, but most players are probably endurance runners. Goalkeepers don't run much; they're probably more bursty. I'll bet they have strong ankles.
I tend to think its the midfielders that run less. The forwards have to rush up to get into scoring position. The midfielders just have to bring the ball up with passing, and finesse. The defenders have to chase the forwards down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisCD View Post
Soccer athletes can make good distance runners or sprinters. For sprints, they often have to learn to sprint correctly. Once, they do, they often are pretty darn good 400 runners because they do have a lot of endurance.


One of our female soccer athletes that also runs is good at the 200, 400, and 800. Not a normal combo, but she knows how to run the different races.


I think most good soccer players typically have a bigger upper body than runners.

cd :O)
Some of the sprinters do seem like they have massive pectorals, and biceps. But their weights not much more than a soccer player. I guess having powerful arm swings helps with running. But if they do have a lot of weight in the arms, I wonder where on their bodies they sacrifice mass to maintain a good ratio.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Maybe pound for pound, but soccer players dont have the muscle mass of say NFL or rugby. They dont need to tackle, only to box out. There quite a few wrestling matches going on in a soccer game especially in the corners, but they cant just explode and shove their opponent down like NFL or rugby.

They may not have larger glutes, but running is not all about glutes. Your hamstrings need to be powerful too. Also soccer players are lighter than NFL or rugby so they do need as much muscle to get up to high speed. That also means they should be able to last much longer if asked to run over and over with no breaks.



I tend to think its the midfielders that run less. The forwards have to rush up to get into scoring position. The midfielders just have to bring the ball up with passing, and finesse. The defenders have to chase the forwards down.



Some of the sprinters do seem like they have massive pectorals, and biceps. But their weights not much more than a soccer player. I guess having powerful arm swings helps with running. But if they do have a lot of weight in the arms, I wonder where on their bodies they sacrifice mass to maintain a good ratio.
I never understand the point of these threads you start and they typically indicate you really don't understand the sports or athletes you are trying to compare...

1. Using Calvin Johnson as a "typical" NFL WR/DB body type is ludicrous....even a sport made up of ridiculous physical specimens at many positions....Calvin was a freak....

The "average" NFL WR/DB would compare very favorably in height weight with similar caliber world class sprinters who also tend to be around 6 feet tall and mesomorphs....

2. Soccer players on average are going to be more similar to middle distance runners than sprinters in body type and while they come in all shapes and sizes don't tend to be the mesomorphic body type of sprinters and DBs/WRs

3. Lastly, anyone with even a modicum of knowledge regarding soccer knows that midfielders run MORE than anyone else on the pitch and it isn't even close.....the fact that you think midfielders' run LESS than anyone tells me you know nothing about the sport
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedevilz View Post
I never understand the point of these threads you start and they typically indicate you really don't understand the sports or athletes you are trying to compare...

1. Using Calvin Johnson as a "typical" NFL WR/DB body type is ludicrous....even a sport made up of ridiculous physical specimens at many positions....Calvin was a freak....

The "average" NFL WR/DB would compare very favorably in height weight with similar caliber world class sprinters who also tend to be around 6 feet tall and mesomorphs....

2. Soccer players on average are going to be more similar to middle distance runners than sprinters in body type and while they come in all shapes and sizes don't tend to be the mesomorphic body type of sprinters and DBs/WRs

3. Lastly, anyone with even a modicum of knowledge regarding soccer knows that midfielders run MORE than anyone else on the pitch and it isn't even close.....the fact that you think midfielders' run LESS than anyone tells me you know nothing about the sport
When have ever made a thread comparing athletes? You must be thinking of someone else.

NFL has been trending towards bigger WRs and bigger DBs because of that. In the WR/DB combine, its the guys with the height that turn all the heads, and have highest draft stock if they do well.

World Class sprinters usually are not that tall. Usain Bolt who I mentioned is considered a freak in his sport as well. That is why I compare him to Calvin Johson. Even though Calvin Johnson isnt that much of a freak. There have been guys like TO, Plexiglass Burress, Larry Fitz, Anquan Boldin, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Michael Floyd etc etc.

By run, I mean run hard, not jogging. Wingers, and Wing/full backs in soccer are considered the better athletes.

Plus, why will a soccer player need a middle distance runner physique. They dont run that far in one go. They do bursts, stop, change direction, and go again. That is far different from running one race keeping pace, and maintaining for long time. The most a soccer player can run in any direction is around 100m unless they start looping.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Europe
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To me, many of them looks like sprinters with skinny arms
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisCD View Post
Soccer athletes can make good distance runners or sprinters. For sprints, they often have to learn to sprint correctly. Once, they do, they often are pretty darn good 400 runners because they do have a lot of endurance.


One of our female soccer athletes that also runs is good at the 200, 400, and 800. Not a normal combo, but she knows how to run the different races.


I think most good soccer players typically have a bigger upper body than runners.

cd :O)
I used to do group runs and one of the participants was a soccer graduate assistant on the local woman's college team. She was a 50k runner - very tough. At my undergraduate university in the midwest, some years ago a varsity college socer player on the woman's team won the marathon in her hometown. I think soccer players are more likely to be distance or middle-distance runners rather than the sprinters. To me, true sprinters don't last beyond a mile. Here's why:

* Sprinters have fast-twitch fibers that are quick but don't have endurance because they use glycogen and glycolysis.
* In contrast, the slow-twitch fibers use myoglobin and the Krebs Cycle - slower but more resistant to fatigure.

Marathon runners tend to have far more slow-twitch fibers while pure sprinters have the fast twitch fibers. Soccers players appear to have a mix - a combination of endurance and longer sprint speeds (e.g. 400 m).
Basketball players at the elite level who dunk a lot are more likely pure sprinters with fast twitch fibers. That's why a lot of them cramp up late in the game. By contrast, a pure endurance runner at that distance of running like at the Leadville 100 miles run would be just getting started.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics...t-muscle-fiber
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:01 PM
 
9,103 posts, read 7,843,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grad_student200 View Post
I used to do group runs and one of the participants was a soccer graduate assistant on the local woman's college team. She was a 50k runner - very tough. At my undergraduate university in the midwest, some years ago a varsity college socer player on the woman's team won the marathon in her hometown. I think soccer players are more likely to be distance or middle-distance runners rather than the sprinters. To me, true sprinters don't last beyond a mile. Here's why:

* Sprinters have fast-twitch fibers that are quick but don't have endurance because they use glycogen and glycolysis.
* In contrast, the slow-twitch fibers use myoglobin and the Krebs Cycle - slower but more resistant to fatigure.

Marathon runners tend to have far more slow-twitch fibers while pure sprinters have the fast twitch fibers. Soccers players appear to have a mix - a combination of endurance and longer sprint speeds (e.g. 400 m).
Basketball players at the elite level who dunk a lot are more likely pure sprinters with fast twitch fibers. That's why a lot of them cramp up late in the game. By contrast, a pure endurance runner at that distance of running like at the Leadville 100 miles run would be just getting started.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics...t-muscle-fiber
Yet, soccer players in a game dont run a long distance continuously. They run a short distance and stop, wait a bit, then do it again. Soccer is basically like a shuttle run of varying short distances, or a zig zag. Sure there are times when they jog at a gingerly pace, but even that distance is short.

Basketball is played at an even shorter distance. I dont know if you can even call it sprinting.
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