The influence of fixture congestion on physical performance response to u23 soccer match-play

GREG DONCASTER, Paul White, Robert Svenson, RICHARD PAGE

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Abstract

This study sought to examine differences in measures of intense periods of physical performance during competitive match-play, between one-match (1 match weeks) and two-match microcycles (2 match week). 1, 3 and 5 min ‘peak’ and mean averages for total distance (TD), high-speed running (HSR) and metabolic power (MP) were analysed for each 15 min period of match-play. Linear mixed models were employed to examine the differences in dependent variables for each method of measurement between the 1 and 2 game microcycles. No differences were reported for ‘peak’ values for all epoch lengths, however, results revealed significantly reduced ‘average’ values, during periods of fixture congestion, for 1, 3 and 5 min epochs for average TD, and 3 min epochs for average HSR toward the end of the match (75-90 min split). There was, however, a trend for the opposite response to occur in the 60-75-minute period. The current data suggests that players potentially display altered pacing strategies during periods of fixture congestion, with these observed responses being dependent on sampling method and epoch length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Volume29
Issue number7
Early online date7 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • congested matches
  • global positioning systems
  • fatigue
  • team sports

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