Power and Strength Standards for Youth Soccer Players

In this post I share lower body power standards as well as lower body strength standards for elite academy football players.

I found the information from this tweet which is from a former first-team Arsenal strength & conditioning coach. The information provided in the research study and photo below is from academy players at Leicester Academy aged 16 to 23.

A countermovement jump is a simple performance assessment that is used to determine lower body athlete power. I am most familiar with performing this test for athletes on a Just Jump mat but it can also be performed on high-grade force plates such as Sparta Science force plates.

Back squat is a multi-joint compound movement that can be used to assess lower body strength. This should be performed with the help of a spotter or with the assistance of a strength and conditioning professional.

According to the data for U16 players

Ability Jump Height (cm) Jump Height (inches)
Poor 26 or less <10.2
Below average 27-31 10.6-12.2
average 32-36 12.6-14.1
Good 37-41 14.5-16.0
Excellent 42 or more 16.5+
Ability 1 RM back squat (kg) 1 RM back squat (lb)
Poor 69 or less <152
Below average 70-80 154-176
average 81-91 178-200
Good 92-102 202-224
Excellent 103 or more 227+

Data from U18 players

Ability Jump Height (cm) Jump Height (inches)
Poor 31 or less <12
Below average 32-34 12.6-13.1
average 35-39 13.8-15.3
Good 40-42 15.7-16.5
Excellent 43 or more 16.9
Ability 1 RM back squat (kg) 1 RM back squat (lb)
Poor 114 or less <251
Below average 115-125 253-275
average 126-136 277-299
Good 137-147 301-323
Excellent 148 or more 325+


  • While lower body changes in between countermovement jump can be seen in the data I think the biggest factor to point out with the data is the stark differences between back squat numbers.
  • For example, an excellent score for a U16 player (103 or more kg) is still less than poor (<114kg) for a U18 player.
  • Contrast this to the power data: excellent for U16 (42+ cm) would be considered good for U18 (40-42).

Main Takeaway

Large changes in strength occur during the ages of 16 to 18 years of age. Football players should engage in regular strength training with the primary focus of gaining strength with the secondary focus of gaining power.

Train with us – Motiv8 Fitness Gym in Waterford

We work with youth football/soccer players in Waterford that are serious about improving their performance on the pitch. If you’re looking for a gym in Waterford that specialises in training youth athletes in a small group environment you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to get started: info@motiv8.ie or 0892688001.