In this study, we investigated the static balance of adult and adolescent elite soccer players to understand how expertise and playing position influence postural control. Seventy-one national level players were tested using a force platform to acquire Center-of-Pressure (COP) data in uni- and bipedal stance and calculate sway area (SA), COP path length, velocity and displacements. The results show significant differences in postural sway related to age and playing position only for single-limb stance. In particular, midfielders exhibited significantly lower values of SA with respect to defenders (–48%, p = 0.001) and the under-15 players exhibited SA 42–64% higher than all the others (p = 0.001). In the light of planning training or rehabilitation programs specific for each player’s role and age, sway measurements may supply useful, objective and reliable information only for the unipedal test as the bipedal standing appears not challenging enough to let differences in balance abilities emerge.
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