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Match Load Physical Demands in U-19 Professional Soccer Players Assessed by a Wearable Inertial Sensor

  • Autori: Pillitteri, Guglielmo; Giustino, Valerio; Petrucci, Marco; Rossi, Alessio; Leale, Ignazio; Bellafiore, Marianna; Thomas, Ewan; Iovane, Angelo; Palma, Antonio; Battaglia, Giuseppe
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2023
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • Parole Chiave: external load; inertial measurement unit; inertial sensor; inertial sensor device; physical demand; soccer; sport performance; training load
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Background: Wearable inertial sensors are poorly used in soccer to monitor external load (EL) indicators. However, these devices could be useful for improving sports performance and potentially reducing the risk of injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the EL indicators (i.e., cinematic, mechanical, and metabolic) differences between playing positions (i.e., central backs, external strikers, fullbacks, midfielders, and wide midfielder) during the first half time of four official matches (OMs). Methods: 13 young professional soccer players (Under-19; age: 18.5 ± 0.4 years; height: 177 ± 6 cm; weight: 67 ± 4.8 kg) were monitored through a wearable inertial sensor (TalentPlayers TPDev, firmware version 1.3) during the season 2021-2022. Participants' EL indicators were recorded during the first half time of four OMs. Results: significant differences were detected in all the EL indicators between playing positions except for two of them (i.e., distance traveled in the various metabolic power zones (<10 w) and the number of direction changes to the right >30° and with speed >2 m). Pairwise comparisons showed differences in EL indicators between playing positions. Conclusions: Young professional soccer players showed different loads and performances during OMs in relation to playing positions. Coaches should consider the different physical demands related to playing positions in order to design the most appropriate training program.