FSI Football Science Update

Peripheral muscle function during repeated changes of direction in professional soccer players

Rampinini E, Martin M, Davide F, Bosio A, Azzolini M, Riggio M, Maffiuletti NA

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2022 Jun 29. doi: 10.1007/s00421-022-04988-2

In this study, knee extensor peripheral muscle function (twitch peak torque, PT) during intermittent runs of increasing intensity with multiple changes of direction interspersed with electrically evoked contractions was measured in 593 male soccer players from 13 European professional clubs competing at 3 different levels 4 times during the season. PTmax (maximal PT, muscle contractility) was higher for first than for second division and Under-19 players, and was associated with whole-match relative total distance. PTdec (PT decline, muscle fatigability) was associated with whole-match relative total distance and relative short-interval sprint distance. Thus, the ability to sustain repeated change of direction efforts at high intensities while preserving peripheral muscle function should be considered an important determinant of soccer physical performance.




Cardiocirculatory Stress in Professional Football (Soccer) Coaches

Meyer T, Demond V, Scharhag J

Clin J Sport Med. 2022 Jul 1;32(4):414-417. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000001013. Epub 2022 Feb 8.

In this study, 17 coaches and 11 assistant coaches of the 2 highest German football leagues were monitored for elicited cardiocirculatory stress and possible damage in games with highly competitive character. Maximal heart rate during the first and second half was 127 ± 15 and 132 ± 19 beats per minute, respectively. No match-induced changes were detected for brain natriuretic peptide [BNP] and troponin I, and no match-induced arrhythmias of higher degree were detected. In conclusion, head and assistant coaches of German professional football teams do not show any match-induced cardiac damage, despite considerable cardiocirculatory stress.




Forecasting football injuries by combining screening, monitoring and machine learning

Hecksteden A, Schmartz GP, Egyptien Y, Aus der Fünten K, Keller A, Meyer T

Sci Med Footb. 2022 Jun 27. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2022.2095006

This prospective observational cohort study on 88 male professional players from 4 teams aimed to forecast non-contact time-loss injuries by using screening and monitoring data analysed with current machine learning techniques. The gradient boosted model used showed a performance (ROC area under the curve 0.61) that was promising and higher compared to models without integration of screening data. Importantly, holdout test set performance was similar (ROC area under the curve 0.62) indicating prospect of generalizability to new cases. However, the variation of predictive accuracy and the relatively low number of events require external prospective verification and continued model development.




How Coaches Can Improve Their Teams’ Match Performance-The Influence of In-Game Changes of Tactical Formation in Professional Soccer

Forcher L, Forcher L, Jekauc D, Wäsche H, Woll A, Gross T, Altmann S 

Front Psychol. 2022 Jun 9;13:914915. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.914915

This study investigated three consecutive seasons of an elite team in the German Bundesliga which were managed by three different coaches, respectively. For every season, the formation changes that occurred during games were recorded. The match performance was measured on a team level using the variables “goals,” “chances,” and “scoring zone” entries (successful attacking sequence) for the own/opposing team. It was found that in the 10 min after the formation change, the teams achieved more goals/chances/scoring zone entries and conceded fewer opposing goals/chances/scoring zone entries than in the 10 min before the formation change. This positive effect on the match performance was variable depending on the season and the coach, but highlights the importance of in-game formation changes in professional soccer.




Injury prevention programs that include balance training exercises reduce ankle injury rates among soccer players: a systematic review

Al Attar WSA, Khaledi EH, Bakhsh JM, Faude O, Ghulam H, Sanders RH

J Physiother. 2022 Jun 23:S1836-9553(22)00050-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2022.05.019

This systematic review of randomized trials found that the pooled results of injury prevention programs that included balance training exercises among 4,959 soccer players showed a 36% reduction in ankle injury per 1,000 hours of exposure. The pooled results of the FIFA injury prevention programs caused a 37% reduction in ankle injury, and balance-training exercises alone cause a 42% reduction in ankle injury, demonstrating that balance exercises alone or as part of an injury prevention program decrease the risk of ankle injuries around 40%.




Clinical and Functional Outcome of Meniscal Injuries Treated with Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Single-Center Case Series

Medina-Porqueres I, Martin-Garcia P, Sanz-De-Diego S, Gomez-Caceres A, Moya-Torrecilla F, Reyes-Eldblom M, Rosado-Velazquez D 

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jun 10;19(12):7118. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19127118

In this study, 38 patients (8 females) that had sustained a stable meniscal lesion (32 medial, 6 lateral) and were treated with 3 intra-articular and percutaneous PRP injections reported clinical and functional significant improvements in all outcome measures (KOOS and Tegner scales, quality of life, and pain intensity). All patients reported they were very satisfied or satisfied with the outcome, suggesting that the treatment of stable meniscal injuries with percutaneous/intra-articular PRP injections can achieve a significant clinical and functional improvement.