Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences

Committee Director

Xihe Zhu

Committee Member

Stephen Knott

Committee Member

Peter Naker


The current thesis examined the effects of a unilateral strength and plyometric program on power (bilateral and unilateral vertical jumps), speed (20 meter sprint), and agility (Agility T- Test) in collegiate soccer players compared to a traditional bilateral-based training program. Due to the fact that a majority of the research on performance variables in athletes is done using bilateral lifting and plyometric programs, yet most movements in field sports such as sprinting and changing direction are unilateral-based, this specific topic could have value for enhanced performance for athletic populations. The participants included 34 male and female Division-I soccer players who were paired up and then randomly assigned to a six week unilateral-based or bilateral-based training program. Pre and post tests were conducted prior to and after the six week training, respectively. In relation to pretest results, athletes’ bilateral vertical jump, unilateral vertical jump, 20 meter sprint, and T-Agility Test increased after six week training. The test scores were significantly correlated. Multivariate analysis of covariance results showed that pretest co- variates were significant predictors for the corresponding posttest outcome, yet there was not a significant difference between the unilateral and bilateral training group’s improvements (Wilks’ λ = .88, F3,13 = .37, p = .86). Athletes in the unilateral training group scored slightly better than those in the bilateral training group, yet not significantly. This study demonstrated the value of a unilateral program on power, speed, and agility, but more research has to be conducted to deter- mine if it could actually be a more optimal program than a traditional bilateral-based program.


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