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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Mar 26

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12236-4

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Quantification of training and match load in elite youth soccer players: a full-season study

Hadi NOBARI 1, 2, 3 , Amir BARJASTE 4, Hamed HAGHIGHI 5, Filipe M. CLEMENTE 6, Jorge CARLOS-VIVAS 3, Jorge PEREZ-GOMEZ 3

1 Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran; 2 Sports
Scientist, Sepahan Football Club, Isfahan, Iran; 3 HEME Research Group, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain; 4 Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran; 5 Department of Sport Injuries and Corrective Exercises, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran; 6 Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Álvares, Viana do Castelo, Portugal


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BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to quantify training and match load in elite young soccer players over the course of an entire season.
METHODS: Using a longitudinal design, session-rate of perceived exertion (s-RPE) and its metrics [weekly acute workload (wAW), acute to chronic workload ratio (wACWR), training monotony and training strain] were examined in twenty-one elite young soccer players (mean±standard deviation; age, 16.1±0.2 years; height, 176.8±5.6 cm; body mass, 67.3±5.7 kg; BMI, 21.5±1.4 kg/m2; VO2max, 47.6±3.8 ml.kg-1.min-1) during the whole season containing 4 meso-cycles: Pre-season (Pre-S), Earlyseason (Ear-S), Mid-season (Mid-S), and End-season (End-S).
RESULTS: Repeated-measures analysis of variance examined variations in s-RPE load data across the 4 meso-cycles and 1-week of micro-cycle. Analyzing data revealed the End-S had a significant greater wAW compared to Early-S (p = 0.002, g = 0.96) and Mid-S (p < 0.001, g = 1.09). However, no differences between in-season periods were observed in wACWR (p = 0.524). The within-week variations revealed significant lower wAW in pre-match a day (MD-1) (p < 0.001), 1 day after match (MD+1) (p < 0.001) and 2 days after match (MD+2) (p < 0.001) compared to match day (MD) for overall team analysis. Additionally, analyses by playing position showed that fullbacks have a significant lower AW in MD+2 compared to MD (p < 0.029).
CONCLUSIONS: The periodization of training load indicated variations across the whole season in young elite players. The weekly micro-cycle perceived load could be identified as follows; there are higher training loads on MD-3 and MD-2 which was similar to intensities experienced by players throughout the match play and, furthermore, lower overall WL on the MD+1 and MD+2 in order to ensure the optimal recovery of the players.


KEY WORDS: Football; Acute workload; Chronic workload; Periodization; Recovery; Mesocycle

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