Repeated high-speed running in elite female soccer players during international competition

Naomi Datson, Barry Drust, Matthew Weston, Warren Gregson

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to provide a detailed analysis of the repeated high-speed demands of competitive international female soccer match-play. A total of 148 individual match observations were undertaken on 107 outfield players in competitive international matches during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons, using a computerized tracking system (STATS, Leeds, England). High-speed activity was classified as either sprint activity (SA) or high-speed running (HSR), with thresholds of >25.1 km.h-1 or >19.8 km.h-1 applied respectively. Repeated sprint activity (RSA) was defined as a minimum of two sprints with 20 s or less recovery between sprints and repeated high-speed activity (RHSA) was defined as a minimum of two high-speed runs or sprints with 20 s or less recovery between efforts. HSR bouts occurred ~5 times more frequently than SA bouts. Central defenders completed 50-80 fewer HSR bouts (moderate count ratio (CR): range 0.61-0.70) and 10-20 fewer SA bouts (moderate CR: range 0.53-0.69) than all other playing positions. RSA bouts occurred less frequently than RHSA bouts (33 ± 10 v 1.1 ± 1.1) with 37 % of players failing to complete any RSA bouts. Central defenders completed fewer RHSA bouts compared to all other playing positions (moderate CR: range 0.57-0.69). Consideration of both RHSA and RSA bouts is necessary to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the demands of female match-play. Practitioners can utilise this information to construct position-specific training and testing programmes which are aligned to the RHSA demands of match-play for elite female players.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018

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