The effects of plyometric jump training on the physical fitness of male youth (age = 10–17 years) soccer players was examined in relation to inter-set recovery intervals and the maturity of the players in a single-blind, randomized-and controlled crossover trial. Jumping tests and kicking velocities were measured before (T0), after a 6 week control period (T1), after 6 weeks of plyometrics (T2), after 6 weeks of wash-out (T3), and after a further 6 weeks of plyometrics (T4). Subjects were divided into pre- and post- peak-height-velocity (PHV) groups, and were randomly assigned to 30 s or 120 s inter-set intervals during periods T2 and T4. Any changes in jumping and maximum kicking velocities during T1 and T3, had trivial effect sizes (0.01–0.15), but small to moderate improvements (effect size = 0.20–0.99) were observed in both groups during T2 and T4. Gains in pre-PHV players were similar for the two inter-set intervals, but gains in post-PHV players were greater (p < 0.05) with an inter-set recovery of 120 s than with a 30 s recovery. We conclude that plyometric jump training improves the physical fitness of adolescents, irrespective of their maturity, but that in older individuals gains are greater with a longer inter-set recovery interval.

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