Intra-Season Variations in Workload Parameters in Europe’s Elite Young Soccer Players: A Comparative Pilot Study between Starters and Non-Starters
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Internal loadYoung soccerACWRMonotonyPerformanceMonitoring
Martins, A.D.; Oliveira, R.; Brito, J.P.; Loureiro, N.; Querido, S.M.; Nobari, H. Intra-Season Variations in Workload Parameters in Europe’s Elite Young Soccer Players: A Comparative Pilot Study between Starters and Non-Starters. Healthcare 2021, 9, 977. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/healthcare9080977
SponsorshipPortuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., Grant/Award Number UIDP/04748/2020
Background: The main purpose of the current study was to compare the within-season variations of workload, training duration, acute/chronic workload ratio (ACWR), training monotony ™, and training strain (TS) through session rating perceived exertion (s-RPE) between starters and non-starters. Methods: Seventeen under-17 European male soccer players (age, 16.2 ± 0.3 y, height, 1.8 ± 0.1 m; body mass, 66.5 ± 4.0 kg) divided in two groups: nine starters and eight non-starters, were evaluated over 50 weeks throughout the season. Results: In general, there were load variations for all players during the full-season. RPE tended to decrease during in-season and RPE, training duration and s-RPE did not present significant differences between starters and non-starters. TM and TS presented lower values for starters in mesocycle (M) 4 and M11 compared to non-starters. TS presented lower values for starters in M4 and M11 compared to non-starters, while in M10 a higher value was found for starters when compared to non-starters. ACWR showed differences between starters and non-starters in two of the mesocycles. Conclusions: This study showed that some mesocycles provided higher load for non-starters. This information can alert coaches that non-starter players are likely to try too hard in training to demonstrate their abilities, leading to non-functional overreaching, overtraining syndrome, and then poor performance.