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Special Issue "Training Load and Performance Monitoring, Recovery, Wellbeing, Illness and Injury Prevention"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
Interests: football; soccer; match analysis; performance analysis; network analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Daniel Castillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Isabel I, Burgos, Spain
Interests: physical performance; external loads; training-related fatigue; match load monitoring; contextual factors; sports injuries; team sports
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Asier Los Arcos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Society, Sports and Physical Exercise Research Group (GIKAFIT). Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Interests: team sports; sport pedagogy; tactical behavior; electronic performance and tracking systems
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A growing body of literature demonstrates the importance of establishing a well-implemented player monitoring cycle in order to optimize the training process and improve performance. Such tools enable coaches and sports scientists to track the development of players and athletes across the season; help minimize injuries, risk factors and illnesses; and increase player readiness for competitive events. Naturally, the multifactorial dimension of performance requires a holistic point of view to establish a well-connected relationship between the training process and the load associated, the impact on the player’s recovery, and the consequences of acute and chronic responses. Moreover, it is also important to determine how the physical status of a player may interfere with recovery and management of load. Despite an important understanding of how those factors interact, commonly, the research splits the analysis, not allowing a multivariate interpretation of how load, recovery, and physical status contribute to performance or, on the other side, to explain possible illness or injuries. Thus, it is important to enact additional epidemiological studies to identify the determinants of injuries and illness in athletes. Such studies would both increase performance opportunities and reduce the possibility of alarming symptoms, decreased performance, or long hiatuses in performance due to injuries/illness. As many athletes and players are amateurs or play recreationally without oversight by sport science departments or coaches, it is necessary to monitor their training in order to minimize the risk factors leading to injuries and illness as a question of public health.

Considering that more research should be done and published on such important topics, the aim of this Special Issue on “Training Load and Performance Monitoring, Recovery, Wellbeing, Illness and Injury Prevention” is to publish high-quality original investigations, narrative and systematic reviews in the field of training process, dose–response relationships, training load monitoring, recovery strategies, illness, and injuries. We look forward to receiving contributions related (but not limited) to the following topics: (i) strength and conditioning programs for injury prevention or return to play; (ii) training load monitoring and dose–response relationships; (iii) physical status and its impact on performance, recovery or injury risk; (iv) recovery strategies and their impact on readiness and performance; and (v) determinants of injury risk and illness in elite, professional, and recreational athletes. We would welcome papers related to evidence of successful intervention strategies. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by experts in the field.

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
Dr. Daniel Castillo
Dr. Asier Los Arcos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • training load
  • dose–response relationship
  • sports performance
  • injury prevention
  • recovery strategies
  • fatigue
  • fitness status
  • strength and conditioning
  • return to play
  • wellbeing
  • sports medicine and health

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Article
Functional and Anthropometrical Screening Test among High Performance Female Football Players: A Descriptive Study with Injury Incidence Analysis, the Basque Female Football Cohort (BFFC) Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010658 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 260
Abstract
The main objectives of the present study were to describe the injury incidence and to analyze the anthropometric and physical characteristics of players from three high-level women’s football teams. The present study involved 54 female football players (21.9 ± 4.9 years old) from [...] Read more.
The main objectives of the present study were to describe the injury incidence and to analyze the anthropometric and physical characteristics of players from three high-level women’s football teams. The present study involved 54 female football players (21.9 ± 4.9 years old) from three different teams competing in the Spanish Reto Iberdrola-Segunda División PRO league. A battery of tests was carried out to determine the anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of the players along with an injury incidence record during a full competitive season. The obtained results showed that there was a high incidence of injury, as 38% of the players suffered some type of injury during the season (range 1–5; 1.75 ± 1.02 injuries per player). Injuries occurred in both matches and during training at a similar percentage (48.6 vs. 51.4%), and the majority of the registered episodes were graded as moderate or severe injury types (60%). Players suffering from an injury accumulated a total of 1587 chronological days off work due to injury during the season, with a recurrence rate of 55%. Considering the high incidence of injury, and the injury burden and the reinjure rate observed in this research, it seems necessary to apply the most efficient prevention and recovery measures possible in these female football teams. These descriptive data could serve athletic trainers and medical staff of female football teams to better understand their own screening procedure-derived data. Full article
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Article
Static and Dynamic Strength Indicators in Paralympic Power-Lifters with and without Spinal Cord Injury
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5907; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115907 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 896
Abstract
Background: In Paralympic powerlifting (PP), athletes with and without spinal cord injury (SCI) compete in the same category. Athletes with SCI may be at a disadvantage in relation to the production of muscle strength and the execution of motor techniques. Objective: To analyze [...] Read more.
Background: In Paralympic powerlifting (PP), athletes with and without spinal cord injury (SCI) compete in the same category. Athletes with SCI may be at a disadvantage in relation to the production of muscle strength and the execution of motor techniques. Objective: To analyze the indicators force, dynamic and static, at different intensities, on performance in athletes with and without SCI. Methods: The sample was composed of two groups of PP athletes: SCI (30.57 ± 4.20 years) and other deficiencies (OD; 25.67 ± 4.52 years). Athletes performed a test of maximum isometric force (MIF), time to MIF (Time), rate of force development (RFD), impulse, variability and fatigue index (FI), dynamic tests Mean Propulsive Velocity (MPV), Maximum Velocity (Vmax) and Power. Results: There were differences in the SCI in relation to OD, 50% 1RM (p < 0.05), in relation to MPV and Vmax. There were no differences in the static force indicators. Regarding EMG, there were differences between the SCI triceps in relation to the previous deltoid (p = 0.012). Conclusion: We concluded that the static and dynamic strength indicators are similar in Paralympic powerlifting athletes with spinal cord injury and other disabilities. Full article
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Article
A Longitudinal Exploration of Match Running Performance during a Football Match in the Spanish La Liga: A Four-Season Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031133 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze and compare the match running performance during official matches across four seasons (2015/2016–2018/2019) in the top two professional leagues of Spanish football. Match running performance data were collected from all matches in the First Spanish Division (Santander; n [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyze and compare the match running performance during official matches across four seasons (2015/2016–2018/2019) in the top two professional leagues of Spanish football. Match running performance data were collected from all matches in the First Spanish Division (Santander; n = 1520) and Second Spanish Division (Smartbank; n = 1848), using the Mediacoach® System. Total distance and distances of 14–21 km·h−1, 21–24 km·h−1, and more than 24 km·h−1, and the number of sprints between 21 and 24 km·h−1 and more than 24 km·h−1 were analyzed. The results showed higher total distances in the First Spanish Division than in the Second Spanish Division (p < 0.001) in all the variables analyzed. Regarding the evolution of both leagues, physical demands decreased more in the First Spanish Division than in the Second Spanish Division. The results showed a decrease in total distance and an increase in the high-intensity distances and number of sprints performed, although a clearer trend is perceived in the First Spanish Division (p < 0.001; p < 0.01, respectively). Knowledge about the evolution of match running performance allows practitioners to manage the training load according to the competition demands to improve players’ performances and reduce the injury rate. Full article
Article
Short-Term Core Strengthening Program Improves Functional Movement Score in Untrained College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228669 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 731
Abstract
Functional movement is an important part of developing athletes’ but also untrained individuals’ performance. Its monitoring also proved useful in identifying functional limitations and asymmetries, and also in determining the intervention effects. The quasi-experimental pre-test post-test study investigated the effects of core stability [...] Read more.
Functional movement is an important part of developing athletes’ but also untrained individuals’ performance. Its monitoring also proved useful in identifying functional limitations and asymmetries, and also in determining the intervention effects. The quasi-experimental pre-test post-test study investigated the effects of core stability training program on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) score in untrained students after six weeks. The intervention (INT) and control (CG) groups included 73 and 65 male students, respectively. Functional movement patterns were evaluated using the FMS including seven components scores representing seven basic functional patterns. Both groups significantly improved almost all FMS components scores, but the INT increased the mean performance of the hurdle step (partial ŋ2 × 100 = 4%, p = 0.02), in-line lunge (partial ŋ2 × 100 = 3%, p = 0.05), rotatory stability (partial ŋ2 × 100 = 4%, p = 0.02) and total FMS (partial ŋ2 × 100 = 3%, p = 0.04) significantly more than the CG. This justifies that core strengthening can improve FMS in untrained individuals even with the short duration programs. Full article
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Article
Effect of a Simulated Match on Lower Limb Neuromuscular Performance in Youth Footballers—A Two Year Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8579; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228579 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 740
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the effects of simulated soccer match play on neuromuscular performance in adolescent players longitudinally over a two-year period. Eleven players completed all measurements in both years of the study (1st year: age 16.0 ± 0.4 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore the effects of simulated soccer match play on neuromuscular performance in adolescent players longitudinally over a two-year period. Eleven players completed all measurements in both years of the study (1st year: age 16.0 ± 0.4 y; stature 178.8 ± 6.4 cm; mass 67.5 ± 7.8 kg; maturity-offset 2.24 ± 0.71 y). There was a significant reduction in hamstring strength after simulated match by the soccer-specific aerobic field test (SAFT90), with four out of eight parameters compromised in U16s (4.7–7.8% decrease) and six in the U17s (3.1–15.4%). In the U17s all of the concentric quadriceps strength parameters were decreased (3.7–8.6%) as well as the vastus lateralis and semitendinosus firing frequency (26.9–35.4%). In both ages leg stiffness decreased (9.2–10.2%) and reactive strength increased pre to post simulated match (U16 8.0%; U17 2.5%). A comparison of changes between age groups did not show any differences. This study demonstrates a decrease in neuromuscular performance post simulated match play in both ages but observed changes were not age dependent. Full article
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Article
Prediction of Somatotype from Bioimpedance Analysis in Elite Youth Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8176; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17218176 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
The accurate body composition assessment comprises several variables, causing it to be a time consuming evaluation as well as requiring different and sometimes costly measurement instruments. The aim of this study was to develop new equations for the somatotype prediction, reducing the number [...] Read more.
The accurate body composition assessment comprises several variables, causing it to be a time consuming evaluation as well as requiring different and sometimes costly measurement instruments. The aim of this study was to develop new equations for the somatotype prediction, reducing the number of normal measurements required by the Heath and Carter approach. A group of 173 male soccer players (age, 13.6 ± 2.2 years, mean ± standard deviation; body mass index, BMI, 19.9 ± 2.5 kg/m2), members of the academy of a professional Italian soccer team participating in the first division (Serie A), participated in this study. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) was performed using the single frequency of 50 kHz and fat-free mass (FFM) was calculated using a BIA specific, impedance based equation. Somatotype components were estimated according to the Heath-Carter method. The participants were randomly split into development (n = 117) and validation groups (n = 56). New anthropometric and BIA based models were developed (endomorphy = −1.953 − 0.011 × stature2/resistance + 0.135 × BMI + 0.232 × triceps skinfold, R2 = 0.86, SEE = 0.28; mesomorphy = 6.848 + 0.138 × phase angle + 0.232 × contracted arm circumference + 0.166 × calf circumference − 0.093 × stature, R2 = 0.87, SEE = 0.40; ectomorphy = −5.592 − 38.237 × FFM/stature + 0.123 × stature, R2 = 0.86, SEE = 0.37). Cross validation revealed R2 of 0.84, 0.80, and 0.87 for endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy, respectively. The new proposed equations allow for the integration of the somatotype assessment into BIA, reducing the number of collected measurements, the instruments used, and the time normally required to obtain a complete body composition analysis. Full article
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Article
Effect of HIIT with Tabata Protocol on Serum Irisin, Physical Performance, and Body Composition in Men
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3589; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103589 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2324
Abstract
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is frequently utilized as a method to reduce body mass. Its intensity of work results in a number of beneficial adaptive changes in a relatively short period of time. Irisin is a myokine and adipokine secreted to the blood [...] Read more.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is frequently utilized as a method to reduce body mass. Its intensity of work results in a number of beneficial adaptive changes in a relatively short period of time. Irisin is a myokine and adipokine secreted to the blood during exercise and it takes part in the regulation of energy metabolism. It is a vital issue from the prophylaxis point of view as well as treatment through exercise of different diseases (e.g., obesity, type-2 diabetes). The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in irisin concentration, body composition, and aerobic and anaerobic performance in men after HIIT. Eight weeks of HIIT following the Tabata protocol was applied in the training group (HT) (n = 15), while a sedentary group (SED) (n = 10) did not participate in fitness activities within the same time period. Changes of irisin, body composition, and aerobic and anaerobic performance were evaluated after graded exercise test (GXT) and Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) before and after eight weeks of training. Training resulted in an increased of blood irisin concentration (by 29.7%) p < 0.05), VO2max increase (PRE: 44.86 ± 5.74 mL·kg−1·min−1; POST: 50.16 ± 5.80 mL kg−1·min−1; p < 0.05), reduction in percent body fat (PRE: 14.44 ± 3.33%; POST: 13.61 ± 3.16%; p < 0.05), and increase of WAnT parameters (p < 0.05) in the HT group. No changes were observed in the SED group. HIIT resulted in beneficial effects in the increase in blood irisin concentration, physical performance, and reduced fat content. The HIIT may indicate an acceleration of base metabolism. This effect can be utilized in the prevention or treatment of obesity. Full article
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Article
Tactical Analysis According to Age-level Groups during a 4 vs. 4 Plus Goalkeepers Small-sided Game
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051667 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1208
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the collective dynamics of three different age-level groups (i.e., U13, U15 and U18) during a 4 vs. 4 plus goalkeepers small-sided game (SSG). Fifty-four male outfield soccer players aged between 13 and 18 years took part in the [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the collective dynamics of three different age-level groups (i.e., U13, U15 and U18) during a 4 vs. 4 plus goalkeepers small-sided game (SSG). Fifty-four male outfield soccer players aged between 13 and 18 years took part in the study. Team tactical behaviors were assessed by measuring (a) the area occupied by players of each team, (b) the distance between both teams’ centroids, (c) the players’ distance to their own team and d) the stretch index during a 4 vs. 4 plus goalkeepers SSG format. The main results revealed that larger areas were occupied by the older players (p < 0.001; Effect size (ES) = 0.44–0.25, small). Additionally, the mean distance between teams’ centroids was greater in older groups (p < 0.001; ES = 0.44–0.81, large–small). Finally, the distance between players (p < 0.001; ES = 0.75–0.81, moderate–large) and the stretch index (p < 0.001; ES = 0.44–0.47, small) were also greater in older age categories. The evidence provided in the present study might help coaches identify the influence of age on collective dynamics during SSGs and help them find task conditions that could help to improve the behaviors and positioning of younger players. Full article
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Article
Pacing and Performance Analysis of the World’s Fastest Female Ultra-Triathlete in 5x and 10x Ironman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1543; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051543 - 27 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
The aim of the present case study was to analyse the performance data of the world’s best female ultra-triathlete setting a new world record in a Quintuple (5xIronman) and Deca Iron (10xIronman) ultra-triathlon, within and between race days, and between disciplines (cycling and [...] Read more.
The aim of the present case study was to analyse the performance data of the world’s best female ultra-triathlete setting a new world record in a Quintuple (5xIronman) and Deca Iron (10xIronman) ultra-triathlon, within and between race days, and between disciplines (cycling and running) and races (Quintuple and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon). The subject was an elite female triathlete (52 kg, 169 cm) born in 1983. At the time of her world record in Quintuple Iron ultra-triathlon she had an age of 35 years and at the time of the world record in Deca Iron ultra-triathlon 36 years old. The distribution of time spent in each discipline and transitions was 8.48% in swimming, 51.67% cycling, 37.91% running, and 1.94% transitions. There was no difference between the race days of the average speed neither in cycling nor running. The running pace had a within-day variation larger than the cycling pace, and also varied more between race days. In conclusion, the world’s best female ultra-triathlete adopted a steady (even) pacing strategy for both cycling and running, without substantial variations within- or between race days, for both the world record in a Quintuple and a Deca Iron ultra-triathlon. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Pre-Planned and Non-Planed Agility Performance: Comparison between Individual and Team Sports
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 975; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17030975 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
This study assessed differences in agility performance between athletes of team and individual sports by assessing change-of-direction speed (CODS) as pre-planned agility and reactive agility (RA) as non-planed in different spatial configurations. The study involved 36 individual (sprint, hurdles, jumping, tennis, and judo) [...] Read more.
This study assessed differences in agility performance between athletes of team and individual sports by assessing change-of-direction speed (CODS) as pre-planned agility and reactive agility (RA) as non-planed in different spatial configurations. The study involved 36 individual (sprint, hurdles, jumping, tennis, and judo) and 34 team (soccer, basketball, and handball) athletes. CODS and RA were measured with a light-based reactive training system in a frontal (FR), universal (UN), semicircular (SC), and lateral (LA) design. Lower limb power and sprint performance were also measured in a 10 m single leg jump test and 15 m sprint. Individual athletes showed significantly better performance in three of the eight agility tests: LA-RA, UN-RA, and SC-CODS (p < 0.008, p < 0.036, and p < 0.027, respectively) and were found to present stronger correlations (p < 0.01) between jump test performance and the CODS condition. Team athletes showed stronger associations between sprint performance and the CODS condition. In the RA condition both jump and sprint performance showed stronger correlations in the group of individual athletes. Agility performance as measured by CODS and RA should improve with enhanced of motor proficiency. Finally, the tests applied in this experiment seem to be multidimensional, but require spatio-temporal adjustment for their implementation, so that they meet the requirements of the particular sport. Full article
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Article
Influence of Contextual Variables in the Changes of Direction and Centripetal Force Generated during an Elite-Level Soccer Team Season
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 967; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17030967 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
The study of the contextual variables that affect soccer performance is important to be able to reproduce the competition context during the training sessions. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of match outcome as related to goal [...] Read more.
The study of the contextual variables that affect soccer performance is important to be able to reproduce the competition context during the training sessions. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of match outcome as related to goal difference (large win, >2 goals, LW; narrow win, 1–2 goals, NW; drawing, D; narrow loss, 1–2 goals, NL; or large loss, >2 goals, LL), match location (home, H; away, A; neutral, N), type of competition (international, INT; national, NAT; friendly, F), phase of the season (summer preseason, SPS; in-season 1, IS1; winter preseason, WPS; in-season 2), and the field surface (natural grass, NG; artificial turf, TF) on the change of direction (COD) and centripetal force (CentF) generated during official games. Thirty male elite-level soccer players (age: 26.57 ± 5.56 years) were assessed while using WIMU PROTM inertial devices (RealTrack Systems, Almeria, Spain) in 38 matches during the 2017–2018 season, selecting for analysis the number of COD at different intensities and the CentF, depending on the turn direction. Statistical analyses comprised a one-way ANOVA with the Bonferroni post-hoc and t-test for independent samples. The main results showed that the match outcome (ωp2 = 0.01–0.04; NW = D = NL > LL), match location (ωp2 = 0.01–0.06; A = N > H), type of competition (ωp2 = 0.01–0.02; INT > NAT > F), and period of the season (ωp2 = 0.01–0.02; SPS = IS1 = WPS > IS2) all exert some influence. No effect was found for the playing surface. Therefore, match outcome, match location, type of competition, and period of the season influence the demands of centripetal force and changes of direction. These aspects should be considered in the design of training sessions and microcycle workload planning during the season to improve competitive success. Full article
Article
Ultra-Short-Term and Short-Term Heart Rate Variability Recording during Training Camps and an International Tournament in U-20 National Futsal Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 775; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17030775 - 26 Jan 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine ultra-short-term and short-term heart rate variability (HRV) in under-20 (U-20) national futsal players during pre-tournament training camps and an official tournament. Fourteen male U-20 national futsal players (age = 18.07 ± 0.73 yrs; height = [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine ultra-short-term and short-term heart rate variability (HRV) in under-20 (U-20) national futsal players during pre-tournament training camps and an official tournament. Fourteen male U-20 national futsal players (age = 18.07 ± 0.73 yrs; height = 169.57 ± 8.40 cm; body weight = 64.51 ± 12.19 kg; body fat = 12.42% ± 3.18%) were recruited to participate in this study. Early morning 10 min resting HRV, Borg CR-10 scale session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE), and general wellness questionnaire were used to evaluate autonomic function, training load, and recovery status, respectively. Log-transformed root mean square of successive normal-to-normal interval differences (LnRMSSD) was used to compare the first 30 s, first 1 min, first 2 min, first 3 min, and first 4 min with standard 5 min LnRMSSD. Mean (LnRMSSDmean) and coefficient of variation (LnRMSSDcv) of LnRMSSD were used to compare the different time segments of HRV analysis. The result of LnRMSSDmean showed nearly perfect reliability and relatively small bias in all comparisons. In contrast, LnRMSSDcv showed nearly perfect reliability and relatively small bias from 2-4 min time segments in all study periods. In conclusion, for accuracy of HRV measures, 30 s or 1 min ultra-short-term record of LnRMSSDmean and short-term record of LnRMSSDcv of at least 2 min during the training camps are recommended in U-20 national futsal players. Full article
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Article
Train Like You Compete? Physical and Physiological Responses on Semi-Professional Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 756; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17030756 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1307
Abstract
Background: Decision-making in soccer has repercussions and depends on the environment of training or competition. The demands on the players can reveal if the decision-making is similar or different from that required during competition. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess [...] Read more.
Background: Decision-making in soccer has repercussions and depends on the environment of training or competition. The demands on the players can reveal if the decision-making is similar or different from that required during competition. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the physical and physiological responses of players in training matches (TM) and official competition matches (CM) according to the playing position (external defenders, internal defenders, midfielders, and forwards/extremes). Methods: Twenty semi-professional male soccer players and 10 CM (n = 40) and 10 TM (n = 40) were studied using global positioning system technology, and paired and one-way ANOVA tests were carried out to compare physical (distances and number of sprints) and physiological (heart rates) responses with the factors a) match environments (TM and CM) and b) the playing position, respectively. Results: The results revealed that during CM, players covered higher total distance, partial distances, and sprints at different speeds (0–21 km/h) and produced higher physiological responses. Midfielders covered the greatest total distance in both TM (7227.6 m) and CM (11,225.9 m), in comparison to the other playing positions. However, forwards and extremes spent more time (56.8% of the CM [d = 0.78]) at 76% to 84% of their maximal heart rates. Conclusions: First, the physical and physiological responses in TM were significantly lower than in CM. Second, these responses were different according to the playing position, so this study was able to verify the exact amount of variation between the load produced in TM and CM. These results will help the coach and technical staff to design training tasks to complement the responses found in TM. Full article

Review

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Review
A Meta-Analytical Comparison of the Effects of Small-Sided Games vs. Running-Based High-Intensity Interval Training on Soccer Players’ Repeated-Sprint Ability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2781; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052781 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
This systematic review with a meta-analysis was conducted to compare the effects of small-sided games (SSGs)-based interventions with the effects of running-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) interventions on soccer players’ repeated sprint ability (RSA). The data sources utilized were Web of Science, Scopus, [...] Read more.
This systematic review with a meta-analysis was conducted to compare the effects of small-sided games (SSGs)-based interventions with the effects of running-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) interventions on soccer players’ repeated sprint ability (RSA). The data sources utilized were Web of Science, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed. The study eligibility criteria were: (i) parallel studies (SSG-based programs vs. running-based HIIT) conducted in soccer players with no restrictions on age, sex, or competitive level; (ii) isolated intervention programs (i.e., only SSG vs. only running-based HIIT as individual forms) with no restrictions on duration; (iii) a pre–post outcome for RSA; (iv) original, full-text, peer-reviewed articles written in English. An electronic search yielded 513 articles, four of which were included in the present study. There was no significant difference between the effects of SSG-based and HIIT-based training interventions on RSA (effect size (ES) = 0.30; p = 0.181). The within-group analysis revealed no significant effect of SSG-based training interventions (ES = −0.23; p = 0.697) or HIIT-based training interventions (ES = 0.08; p = 0.899) on RSA. The meta-comparison revealed that neither SSGs nor HIIT-based interventions were effective in improving RSA in soccer players, and no differences were found between the two types of training. This suggests that complementary training may be performed to improve the effects of SSGs and HIIT. It also suggests that different forms of HIIT can be used because of the range of opportunities that such training affords. Full article
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Review
Injury Profile of Male and Female Senior and Youth Handball Players: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3925; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113925 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Handball is a team sport in which players are exposed to high physical conditioning requirements and several contacts and collisions, so they must face various musculoskeletal injuries throughout their career. The aim of this study was to summarize the characteristics of handball injuries [...] Read more.
Handball is a team sport in which players are exposed to high physical conditioning requirements and several contacts and collisions, so they must face various musculoskeletal injuries throughout their career. The aim of this study was to summarize the characteristics of handball injuries both in training and in competition contexts, differentiating by gender and age. A systematic review was conducted and a total of 15 studies (33 cohorts) met the inclusion criteria. Higher injury incidence was reported during matches compared to training sessions in all groups (i.e., male and female senior and youth players), with male senior players presenting the greatest values. Lower extremities were more frequently injured, being contusions and sprains the most common type of injuries. Females reported more serious injuries than males, who presented a higher percentage of acute injuries caused by direct contact, while in female players these injuries were not caused by direct contact actions. Wings and backs presented the highest injury incidence; additionally, players registered higher match incidence during international championships compared to national leagues. Due to the differences in the injury profile of handball players, specific preventive strategies should be implemented for each group to optimize the injury prevention process. Full article
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Review
Identification, Computational Examination, Critical Assessment and Future Considerations of Distance Variables to Assess Collective Tactical Behaviour in Team Invasion Sports by Positional Data: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17061952 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
The aim of the study was the identification, computational examination, critical assessment and future considerations of distance variables to assess collective tactical behaviour in team invasion sports by positional data. A total of 3973 documents were initially retrieved. Finally, 72 articles met the [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was the identification, computational examination, critical assessment and future considerations of distance variables to assess collective tactical behaviour in team invasion sports by positional data. A total of 3973 documents were initially retrieved. Finally, 72 articles met the inclusion criteria, but only 26 suggested original tactical variables based on the distance variables. The distance variables can be classified into player–player, player–space, player–ball, and Geometrical Centre (GC)–GC /player/space/goal. In addition, several nonlinear techniques have been used to analyse the synchronisation and predictability of the distance variables in team invasion sports. Player–opponent distance is of special interest in those sports in which man-marking is commonly used, and in the micro-structure close to scoring situations in all sports. In addition, player–player distances are used to measure the length and the width of the team and player–GC distance to assess the dispersion of the team. Player–space distances have been measured to assess the distance of the player/team-line to relevant areas of the playing space. Several techniques have been applied to analyse the synchronisation (i.e., Hilbert transformation and cluster analyses) and the complexity and regularity or predictability (i.e., approximate entropies, sample entropy, cross-sample entropy and average mutual information) of the distance variables in team invasion sports, revealing the lack of consensus. Although the distance variables may be interesting tactical variables when considered in isolation, it would be enriching to analyse the relationship among these variables. Full article
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