Large Reductions in Match Play Physical Performance Variables Across a Professional Football Season with Control for Situational and Contextual Variables

Matthew Springham, Sean Williams, Mark Waldron, Darren Burgess, Robert Newton

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Abstract

This investigation examined match play physical performance across a professional football season using a multicamera computerized tracking system. A linear mixed-effects model, controlling for situational and contextual variables, identified decreases in team average total distance (TD): season quarter 1 (Q1) (11,047 m) > season quarter 2 (Q2) (10,473 m) (P = 0.002; ES = Small), season quarter 3 (Q3) (10,449 m) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate), and season quarter 4 (Q4) (10,385 m) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate); work rate (WR): Q1 (115 m/min) > Q3 (108 m/min) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate), Q4 (107 m/min) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate); Q2 (109 m/min) > Q4 (107 m/min) (P = 0.003; ES = Small); high-speed running distance (HSR): Q1 (1,051 m) > Q2 (813 m) (P = 0.006; ES = Small); number of high-speed runs (NHSR): Q1 (87) > Q2 (65) (P < 0.001; ES = Small), Q3 (64) (P = 0.002; ES = Small); sprint distance (SD): Q1 (202 m) > Q4 (130 m) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate), Q2 (179 m) > Q3 (165 m) (P = 0.035; ES = Small), Q4 (130 m) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate) and number of sprints (NS): Q1 (20.4) > Q3 (10.2) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate), Q4 (8.3) (P < 0.001; ES = Large); Q2 (14.9) > Q3 (10.2) (P < 0.001; ES = Moderate), Q4 (8.3) (P < 0.001; ES = Large). Within-position changes were observed for WR: Q1 (122 m/min) > Q4 (113 m/min) (P = 0.002; ES = Large) in central midfielders and for NS: Q1 > Q3 in wide defenders (21.7 vs. 10.8) (P = 0.044; ES = Large) and central midfielders (18.1 vs. 8.3) (P = 0.002; ES = Large); Q1 > Q4 in central defenders (13.1 vs. 5.3) (P = 0.014; ES = Large), wide defenders (21.6 vs. 7.1) (P < 0.001; ES = Very Large), central midfielders (18.1 vs. 8.5) (P = 0.005; ES = Large), and wide midfielders (20.8 vs. 12.2) (P = 0.012; ES = Large); Q2 > Q3 in central midfielders (16.9 vs. 8.3) (P = 0.002; ES = Large) and Q2 > Q4 in wide defenders (16.3 vs. 7.1) (P = 0.005; ES = Very Large), central midfielders (16.9 vs. 8.5) (P = 0.004; ES = Large), and wide midfielders (20.8 vs. 12.2) (P = 0.007; ES = Large). The match-play physical performance was reduced across the competitive season. The most notable reductions were observed in wide defenders, central midfielders, and wide midfielders in sprint performance indices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number570937
JournalFrontiers in Sports And Active Living
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020

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