Home > Journals > Medicina dello Sport > Past Issues > Medicina dello Sport 2006 September;59(3) > Medicina dello Sport 2006 September;59(3):325-33



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian





Medicina dello Sport 2006 September;59(3):325-33


language: Italian

Cardio-pulmonary evaluation of mentally disabled soccer players

Merati G. 1, 2, 3, Cè E. 1, Maggioni M. A. 2, Esposito F. 1, 3, La Torre A. 1, Michielon G. 1, Veicsteinas A. 1, 2, 3

1 Istituto di Esercizio Fisico, Salute e Attività Sportive (IEFSAS), Università degli Studi di Milano 2 Centro di Medicina dello Sport, Fondazione Don C. Gnocchi, ONLUS, Milano 3 Istituto Interuniversitario di Miologia (IIM)


Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardio-pulmonary adaptations during training and during a match of the regular season in a mentally disabled soccer players' team, in order to better organize a training protocol specific to this disability and to provide information for a more accurate clinical decision about the agonistic practice ability carried out in the Sports Medical Centres.
Methods. Nine mentally disabled male subjects (group DIS) and seven able-bodied soccer players (group NOR) matched for age, BMI and years of training volunteered the study. Heart rate (FC), oxygen uptake (V.O2) and pulmonary ventilation (VE) were monitored either on field, during 1) a session of athletic training; 2) a simulated game-training protocol; 3) a match of the regular season, or in a laboratory setting; 4) during a submaximal ergometric incremental test. A body composition analysis and a standard spirometry were also performed during the laboratory session.
Results. Overall, with respect to NOR subjects DIS athletes were overweight and showed an increased fat mass. During simulated training protocol, DIS group reached lower values of FC, VE and V.O2 than NOR group. During training and match, FC in the DIS group were similar, and did not seem to be influenced by the surrounding contest. Conversely, during the laboratory incremental ergometric test, DIS group showed higher values of VE and V.O2 than NOR group at each submaximal load.
Conclusion. Soccer training for mentally disabled players should be mainly centred on aerobic exercises (i.e. 50% V.O2max) with a prevalent ludic component. The use of a heart rate monitor during training to control cardiopulmonary effort should be recommended.

top of page