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PhD ceremony Mr. A.J. Borghuis: Core stability in soccer: it's a matter of control!

When:We 13-11-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Mr. A.J. Borghuis, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Core stability in soccer: it's a matter of control!

Promotor(s): prof. K.A.P.M. Lemmink, prof. C. Visscher

Faculty: Medical Sciences

The first aim of this thesis was to take a closer look at the concept of core stability from a scientific perspective. An attempt was made to provide a universal definition of core stability, in order to stimulate that future discussions regarding the subject concern one and the same concept.

The second aim was to present valid and reliable measurement methods to quantify core stability, based on the definition that was formulated. A sitting balance task was developed, which was used to compare core muscle response times and balance measures between amateur soccer players and non-players. The soccer players reacted faster in response to sudden balance perturbations. Subsequently, the measurement methods were further refined and their reliability was investigated.

The third aim was to study the effect of a soccer specific neuromuscular training program (NMTP) on core stability in elite youth soccer players, using these measurement tools. Besides, as a secondary aim, the effect of the training program on standing balance and agility as performance measures and on injury occurrence was investigated. Although positive trends in the data indicated that the NMTP had a positive effect on reactive core stabilizing control, standing balance capacity and slalom sprint performance, no significant differences in improvement were found between the intervention and control group.

Although a common view exists that a stable core is important with respect to performance optimisation and injury prevention, further research is needed for scientific substantiation.

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