FSI Football Science Update

1. The Relationship Between Performance and Asymmetries in Different Multidirectional Sprint Tests in Soccer Players.

Fílter A, Beltrán-Garrido V, Dos’Santos T, Romero-Rodríguez D, Requena B, Loturco I, Madruga-Parera M.

FSI Sport Research Lab, Granada, Spain

J Hum Kinet. 2021 Jul 28;79:155-164. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2021-0069

This study analyzes the association between linear sprint (17 m), curve sprint CS (17 m), and 90º change of direction COD-90 [8.5 + 8.5 m]⍛ speed tests in 33 male soccer players. There was a large relationship between the linear and the two multidirectional tasks performance, a moderate relationship between CS and COD-90 performance, and no relationship between COD and CS asymmetries, with opposing directional dominance in ~70% of players (e.g., curve left and COD right dominance). These results indicate that performance in linear sprints is strongly related to performance in multidirectional trajectories, whereas CS and COD-90 seem to be more independent actions, with asymmetry or dominance generally opposite between them.


2. Scanning activity of elite football players in 11 vs. 11 match play: An eye-tracking analysis on the duration and visual information of scanning

Aksum KM, Brotangen L, Bjørndal CT, Magnaguagno L, Jordet G

Department of Sport and Social Sciences, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

PLoS One. 2021 Aug 20;16(8):e0244118. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244118

This study examines the visual exploratory scanning of 4 elite football midfield players in an 11 vs. 11 real-game environment using mobile eye-tracking technology. The players’ scanning duration was influenced by the ball context and the action undertaken with the ball, with the players including more opponents than teammates inside the video frame. Fixations were found in only 2.3% of the scans, being the stop point the most information-rich part of a scan. 


3. Match running performance in Brazilian professional soccer players: comparisons between successful and unsuccessful teams

Aquino R, Gonçalves LG, Galgaro M, Maria TS, Rostaiser E, Pastor A, Nobari H, Garcia GR, Moraes-Neto MV, Nakamura FY

LabSport, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brazil

BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2021 Aug 17;13(1):93. doi: 10.1186/s13102-021-00324-x

This study compares the match running performance between the two bottom- and top-ranked teams in professional soccer players over the 2020 season of the Brazilian National 2nd Division League, comparing the 24 players of each team during 69 matches. The top-ranked team covered greater total distance and high-acceleration distance than the bottom-ranked team, both at home and away matches. Particularly, the midfielders of the top-ranked team covered higher total distance, high-speed running distance, high acceleration distance, high-deceleration distance, and performed more sprints compared to the midfielders of the bottom-ranked team. The matches against top-level opponents elicited high values of high-acceleration distance and number of sprints only for the top-ranked team. Match outcome (loss vs. draw vs. win) was not influenced by running performance neither for both bottom and top-ranked teams. 


4. Neuromuscular Performance and Training Workload Over an In-Season Mesocycle in Elite Young Soccer Players

Clancy C, Gleeson N, Mercer T

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2021 Aug 17:1-7. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2020-0834

In this study, workload (high-intensity running distance) and neuromuscular performance capabilities (isometric knee extension: peak force, rate of force development, and peak twitch force) of 12 professional soccer players were assessed weekly over a 6-week in-season mesocycle. There were fluctuations in neuromuscular performance capability over the mesocycle that reached statistical and practical (13.3% [peak-to-peak]) significance alongside inter-week heterogeneity in workload, with congruence between the high-intensity running workload and the peak force and rate of force development fluctuations. 


5. Coach Encouragement During Soccer Practices Can Influence Players’ Mental and Physical Loads

Díaz-García J, Pulido JJ, Ponce-Bordón JC, Cano-Prado C, López-Gajardo MÁ, García-Calvo T.

Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, Spain

J Hum Kinet. 2021 Jul 28;79:277-288. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2021-0079

In this study in 2 male teams and 1 female team, two conditions of the same training session were analyzed: in one of them, coaches maintained a passive verbal attitude, whereas in the other session coaches intervened with an active attitude through continuous general encouragement. Increases in performance satisfaction, mental effort, and RPE values were detected associated with encouragement interventions. Nevertheless, the external physical load did not show clear differences. 


7. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise Performed on the Sand Induces Higher Internal Load Demands in Soccer Players

Cetolin T, Teixeira AS, da Silva JF, Haupenthal A, Nakamura FY, Castagna C, Guglielmo LGA

Research Group for Development of Football and Futsal, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil

Front Psychol. 2021 Jul 30;12:713106. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.713106

This study examines the effects of shuttle-run-based high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) performed at the same relative speed (100% PST-CAR on Carminatti’s test) on sand and grass in 7 male junior soccer players. The sand condition elicited significantly higher %VO2peak, %HRpeak, RPE, and Lactate. This study showed that higher internal workloads are experienced by the players during a single HIIE session performed on a softer surface like sand, even when the exercise intensity was individualized based on 100%PST-CAR on each surface.


8. Previous hamstring muscle strain injury alters passive tissue stiffness and vibration sense

Kawai T, Takamoto K, Bito I.

Department of Sports and Health Sciences, University of East Asia, Yamaguchi, Japan

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2021 Jul;27:573-578. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.05.002

In this study, the stiffness (with the MyotonPRO® device) and vibration disappearance threshold (with a tuning fork) were measured in 8 professional soccer players with a previous history of hamstrings strain and 8 uninjured players, finding that the tissue stiffness was higher, and the vibration disappearance threshold was lower in the previously injured legs, compared with the uninjured legs and the legs of the uninjured players, suggesting that tissue stiffness and vibration sense could be a useful and feasible evaluation for chronic muscle strain conditions.