Match-to-match variations in external load measures during congested weeks in professional male soccer players
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External loadLoad monitoringSports sciencePerformanceGPS
Rui Silva... [et al.]. Match-to-match variations in external load measures during congested weeks in professional male soccer players. Journal of Men's Health. 2021. 17(4);207-217. [http://doi.org/10.31083/jomh.2021.063]
Objectives: This study aimed to analyze within-week and within-match external load variations in male soccer players over three consecutive matches during a congested week. Methods: The study cohort included nineteen elite professional male players (age: 26.5 ± 4.3 years) from a European First League team. Players were monitored daily over a full season using measurements collected by global positioning systems (GPSs). GPS-derived measures of total distance (TD), high-speed running (HSR), high metabolic load (HML), and maximal speed (maxSpeed) were collected during each match. Results: TD and HML intensity were meaningfully lower during the second half of the season than the first half for all weeks (p < 0.05), regardless of the number of matches. Also, the standardized differences for both metrics presented moderate-to-strong effect sizes. Although no significant differences between halves were found for HSR or maxSpeed (p > 0.05), these measures presented inconsistently minimum-to-strong effect sizes in some matches in overall weeks. Conclusion: The findings of this study revealed that TD and HML distances were significantly different between halves for all weeks, regardless of the number of matches. Meanwhile, HSR and maxSpeed measures presented no significant differences across matches overall.