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External load profile during different sport-specific activities in semi-professional soccer players

  • Autori: Pillitteri G.; Giustino V.; Petrucci M.; Rossi A.; Bellafiore M.; Thomas E.; Iovane A.; Bianco A.; Palma A.; Battaglia G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2023
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


BackgroundGlobal Positioning System (GPS) devices are widely used in soccer for monitoring external load (EL) indicators with the aim of maximizing sports performance.The aim of this study was to investigate the EL indicators differences in players of different playing positions (i.e., central backs, external strikers, fullbacks, midfielders, strikers, wide midfielder) between and within different sport-specific tasks and official matches.Methods1932 observations from 28 semi-professional soccer players (age: 25 +/- 6 years, height: 183 +/- 6 cm, weight: 75.2 +/- 7 kg) were collected through GPS devices (Qstarz BT-Q1000EX, 10 Hz) during the season 2019-2020. Participants were monitored during Official Match (OM), Friendly Matches (FM), Small Sided Games (SSG), and Match-Based Exercises (MBE). Metabolic (i.e., metabolic power, percentage of metabolic power > 35w, number of intense actions per minute, distance per minute, passive recovery time per minute) and neuromuscular indicators (i.e., percentage of intense accelerations, percentage of intense decelerations, change of direction per min > 30 degrees) were recorded during each task.ResultsStatistically significant differences were detected in EL indicators between playing positions within each task and between tasks. In particular, results from the two-way ANOVA tests showed significant interaction, but with small effect size, in all the EL indicators between playing positions for each task and within tasks. Moreover, statistical differences, but with small effect size, between playing positions were detected in each task and for each EL indicator. Finally, the strongest statistical differences (with large effect size) were detected between tasks for each EL indicator. Details of the Tukey post-hoc analysis reporting the pairwise comparisons within and between tasks with playing positions are also provided.ConclusionIn semi-professional soccer players, different metabolic and neuromuscular performance were detected in different playing position between and within different tasks and official matches. Coaches should consider the different physical responses related to different physical tasks and playing position to design the most appropriate training program.