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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 October;58(10):1439-45

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07500-4

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Variability of GPS-derived running performance during official matches in elite professional soccer players

Hani AL HADDAD 1, Alberto MÉNDEZ-VILLANUEVA 1, Nacho TORREÑO 1, Diego MUNGUÍA-IZQUIERDO 1, 2, Luis SUÁREZ-ARRONES 1, 2

1 Master de Futbol, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain; 2 Section of Physical Education and Sports, Department of Sports and Computer Science, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain


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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the match-to-match variability obtained using GPS devices, collected during official games in professional soccer players.
METHODS: Global positioning system (GPS)-derived data from nineteen elite soccer players were collected over two consecutive seasons. Time-motion data for players with more than five full-match were analyzed (N.=202). Total distance covered (TD), TD>13-18 km/h, TD>18-21 km/h, TD>21 km/h, number of acceleration >2.5-4 m.s-2 and >4 m.s-2 were calculated. The match-to-match variation in running activity was assessed by the typical error expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV%) and the magnitude of the CV was calculated (effect size).
RESULTS: When all players were pooled together, CVs ranged from 5% to 77% (first half) and from 5% to 90% (second half), for TD and number of acceleration >4 m.s-2, and the magnitude of the CVs were rated from small to moderate (effect size=0.57-0.98). The CVs were likely to increase with running/acceleration intensity, and were likely to differ between playing positions (e.g., TD>13-18 km/h 3.4% for second strikers vs. 14.2% for strikers and 14.9% for wide-defenders vs. 9.7% for wide-midfielders).
CONCLUSIONS: Present findings indicate that variability in players’ running performance is high in some variables and likely position-dependent. Such variability should be taken into account when using these variables to prescribe and/or monitor training intensity/load.


KEY WORDS: Soccer - Time and motion studies - Running - Athletic performance

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