gms | German Medical Science

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Österreich

The effect of a succession of matches on the activity profiles of professional soccer players

Meeting Abstract

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7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm111

DOI: 10.3205/11esm111, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm1116

Veröffentlicht: 24. Oktober 2011

© 2011 Lago-Peñas.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.de). Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.


Gliederung

Text

Objective: Professional soccer players competing in the domestic competition and Championship leagues are often required to play competition matches with only 1-2 days recovery. The potential for residual fatigue in these matches is high with possible implications in terms of the movement behaviours of players competing in successive matches. In a recent study, Odetoyinbo, Wooster & Lane (2009) examined the effect of a succession of matches on the activity profiles of professional soccer players. In this study the activity profile of UK-based professional soccer players were considered when three matches were played in five days. Overall, the results suggest that players were able to recover when the total distance is considered over three matches. The data, however, also indicate that some residual fatigue may be apparent that affects certain high-intensity aspects of play. However, these findings are not conclusive given that some limitations and/or methodological problems can be observed. Based on the limitations of the extant research, the aim of this study was to investigate recovery via analysis of activity profiles in a professional soccer team over an intense period of matches.

Participants and match sample: A total of 27 Spanish League matches played at the weekend by a professional team during the 2005-2006 season were included for analysis. With ethics approval from the internal review board of the sampled professional football club, physical demands were analysed for 23 outfield players: central defenders (n=5), external defenders (n=5), central midfielders players (n=5), external midfield players (n=4), and forwards (n=4). The sample included only players that played in their customary position. Altogether, 172 observation of match performance were obtained.

For the purpose of this study sampled players were divided into two groups according to the number of matches played, one or two matches a week. This research model provided 41 players for the first group (those players who played two matches a week) and 132 for the second (those players who played one match a week).

Data collection procedure and measures of competitive performance: A computerized player tracking system (AMISCO Pro©, Sport-Universal Process, Nice, France) was used to characterize activity profiles in the team.

Statistical Analysis: An independent-samples t-test was performed to test for differences in the distance covered at various speeds by the players of the two groups considered. A standard multiple regression was used to examine how much the distances covered at various speeds by the players was explained by the situational variables (match location, match status and quality of opposition), the number of matches played per week and the individual playing position of the players.

Results: The main finding of this study suggests that the activity profiles of professional soccer players were not influenced by the short recovery between matches Table 1 [Tab. 1]). Although those players who played two matches a week covered lower distance at maximal (>23 km/h), submaximal (19.1-23 km/h) and medium (14.1-19 km/h) intensities than those players who played one match a week, no significant differences were found. The walking profile demonstrates an inverse relationship. Players covered greater distance by walking and jogging when two matches were played in the same week. Moreover, results from the present study seem to confirm that the elite soccer players´ distance covered at various speeds is dependent on match contextual factors. The results were always influenced by one or more situation variables, with particular relevance to match location and match status. Thus, elite soccer players performed less high-intensity activity when winning than when they were losing. The home teams covered a greater distance than visitors at low intensity (<14.1 km/h), but no differences were found at medium, submaximal or maximal intensities. The distance covered with the lowest intensity (0-11 km/h) was also explained by the variable quality of the opponent. The better the quality of the opponent, the higher the distance covered by walking and jogging (Table 2 [Tab. 2]).

Conclusion: In summary, in this study the activity profiles of Spain-based professional soccer players were considered when two matches were played in 3 days. Overall, results suggest that the activity profiles of professional soccer players were not influenced by the short recovery between matches. However, further research is warranted to address others factors that may influence activity profiles over an intense period of matches. Work could be extended to examine the effects of match type (domestic cup competition vs. league games), and the influence of specific team formation (systems of play). The major limitations of this study were the low number of matches and players examined and that players played for only one club. Therefore, the patterns observed might be a reflection of this particular team.


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