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Open access

Bruno Mendes, Filipe Manuel Clemente and Nuno Maurício

Abstract

The aim of this study was to quantify the prominence levels of elite and highly competitive young soccer players. This study also analyzed the variation in general network properties at different competitive levels and periods of the season. A total of 132 matches, played by 28 teams during the 2015/2016 season, were analyzed. The results revealed significant differences in the composition of general network measures considering the competitive level (p = 0.002; ES = 0.077) and according to the location of the match (p = 0.001; ES = 0.147). There were positive correlations between network density and the final score (ρ = 0.172) and negative correlations between network density and goals conceded (ρ = - 0.300). Significant differences in the composite of centralities were found between positions (p = 0.001; ES = 0.293; moderate effect) and the location of the match (p = 0.001; ES = 0.013; no effect). This revealed that the general properties of cooperation increased with the competitive level, improved during the middle of the season and were better in home matches. Midfielders were most prominent players in elite and U19 teams in the mid-season and central defenders had the most prominent centralities in U17 and U15 during the early and late periods of the season.

Open access

Diogo Peixoto, Gibson Moreira Praça, Sarah Bredt and Filipe Manuel Clemente

Abstract

Purpose. The study aimed to compare social network analysis (SNA) general measures and centrality levels of successful and unsuccessful offensive sequences performed by elite national teams in 64 matches of the FIFA World Cup 2014 tournament and to compare the level of centrality between playing positions. Methods. Adjacency matrices of passing sequences within an offensive unit were built and treated in a dedicated SNA software. Results. The main results indicated significantly lower values of total links and network density in successful sequences in comparison with unsuccessful ones in the teams that achieved the round of 8, semifinals, and the final. The comparisons between playing positions revealed that forwards showed the highest values of indegree centrality (balls received) and that midfielders presented the highest values of outdegree centrality (ball passed) in both successful and unsuccessful offensive units. Midfielders also exhibited the highest values of betweenness centrality (intermediation between teammates) in unsuccessful sequences and forwards in successful ones. Conclusions. Greater cooperation among teammates may not be determinant for successful sequences. Forwards are the prominent players to receive the ball and intermediate the passing sequence in offenses that end in a goal.

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Micael Santos Couceiro, Fernando Manuel Lourenço Martins, Gonçalo Dias and Rui Mendes

The performance of football players within game context can be analyzed based on their ability to break or (re)balance the attacker-defender dyad. In this context, the analysis of each sub-phase (e.g., 1v1, 2v2) presents a feature that needs to be taken into account in sports analysis. This study aims to investigate the interpersonal dynamics dyad formed by the attacker and the defender in 1v1 situations with a goalkeeper. A sample of 11 football male players (age: 17.91 ± 1.04 years) with 8.6 ± 1.52 years of practice experience participated in the study. Analyzing the 1v1 sub-phase, results show that the distance, speed and angular amplitude between the attacker and the defender increases, especially when the attacker attempts to overtake the defender (i.e., score a goal). We conclude that decision-making emerges from the perception that players draw from the action, actively and consistently interacting to find solutions to emerging problems within the game context

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Micael Santos Couceiro, Fernando Manuel Lourenço Martins and Rui Sousa Mendes

Abstract

The aim of this study was to propose a set of network methods to measure the specific properties of a team. These metrics were organised at macro-analysis levels. The interactions between teammates were collected and then processed following the analysis levels herein announced. Overall, 577 offensive plays were analysed from five matches. The network density showed an ambiguous relationship among the team, mainly during the 2nd half. The mean values of density for all matches were 0.48 in the 1st half, 0.32 in the 2nd half and 0.34 for the whole match. The heterogeneity coefficient for the overall matches rounded to 0.47 and it was also observed that this increased in all matches in the 2nd half. The centralisation values showed that there was no ‘star topology’. The results suggest that each node (i.e., each player) had nearly the same connectivity, mainly in the 1st half. Nevertheless, the values increased in the 2nd half, showing a decreasing participation of all players at the same level. Briefly, these metrics showed that it is possible to identify how players connect with each other and the kind and strength of the connections between them. In summary, it may be concluded that network metrics can be a powerful tool to help coaches understand team’s specific properties and support decision-making to improve the sports training process based on match analysis.

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Micael Santos Couceiro, Fernando Manuel Lourenço Martins, Monika Ognyanova Ivanova and Rui Mendes

Abstract

The main objective of this study was to analyse the distance covered and the activity profile that players presented at the FIFA World Cup in 2010. Complementarily, the distance covered by each team within the same competition was analysed. For the purposes of this study 443 players were analysed, of which 35 were goalkeepers, 84 were external defenders, 77 were central defenders, 182 were midfielders, and 65 were forwards. Afterwards, a thorough analysis was performed on 16 teams that reached the group stage, 8 teams that achieved the round of 16, 4 teams that reached the quarter-finals, and 4 teams that qualified for the semi-finals and finals. A comparison of the mean distance covered per minute among the playing positions showed statistically significant differences (F(4,438) = 559.283; p < 0.001; 2 = 0.836; Power = 1.00). A comparison of the activity time among tactical positions also resulted in statistically significant differences, specifically, low activity (F(4,183.371) = 1476.844; p < 0.001; 2 = 0.742; Power = 1.00), medium activity (F(4,183.370) = 1408.106; p < 0.001; 2 = 0.731; Power = 1.00), and high activity (F(4,182.861) = 1152.508; p < 0.001; 2 = 0.703; Power = 1.00). Comparing the mean distance covered by teams, differences that are not statistically significant were observed (F(3,9.651) = 4.337; p < 0.035; 2 = 0.206; Power = 0.541). In conclusion, the tactical positions of the players and their specific tasks influence the activity profile and physical demands during a match.

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Fernando Manuel Lourenço Martins, Pantelis Theodoros Nikolaidis and Rui Sousa Mendes

Summary

Study aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between objectively measured daily physical activity (PA) and body fat mass (BF) and body mass index (BMI). A further aim was to analyse the variance of PA between quartiles of BF and BMI.

Material and methods: A cross-sectional, observational study of 126 university students (53 males aged 20.46 ± 2.04 years and 73 female aged 19.69 ± 1.32 years) was conducted.

Results: The female participants and PA characteristics explain 57.10% of BF variance and the model was statistically signifi­cant (F(6, 875) = 196.38; p = 0.001). BMI was also included in the model. Standard binary logistic regression was used to test the hypothesis that female sex and PA characteristics can influence overweight. The full model containing all variables was statistically significant (G2(6) = 58.598, p-value = 0.001). Analysis of variance between BF quartiles revealed statistically sig­nificant differences in male participants in light PA (p = 0.001; ES = 0.09), moderate PA (p = 0.001; ES = 0.042) and vigorous PA (p = 0.001; ES = 0.130).

Conclusions: The statistical model in the regression analysis suggests that low and vigorous levels of PA explain 57% of BF variance in female participants.

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Pantelis Theodoros Nikolaidis, Cornelis M. I. Niels Van Der Linden and Bruno Silva

Abstract

Purpose. The aim of the study was to examine the influence of small-sided and conditioned games (SSG) on the internal load (heart rate [HR] and perceived exertion), external load (Global Positioning System variables), and lower limb power (squat jump [SJ] and countermovement jump [CMJ]).

Methods. Six collegiate male soccer players (age 20.3 ± 4.8 years; maximal oxygen uptake 42.9 ± 2.7 ml/kg/min; maximal HR 184.7 bpm) performed three 2-min bouts of 1 vs. 1 and two 3-min bouts of 3 vs. 3 format with a work-to-rest ratio of 1:1.5. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures tested the effects of bouts and SSG formats on the internal and external load and on the lower limb power.

Results. The 3rd bout had significantly higher HRaverage and %HRmax values than the 2nd bout (p = 0.027 and p = 0.026, respectively). The 1st SSG bout presented higher total distance than the 2nd bout (p = 0.007). The comparison among bouts revealed higher values of pace and player load intensity in the 1st bout than in the 2nd one (p = 0.015 and p = 0.019, respectively). No differences were found in SJ and CMJ among bouts (p = 0.981 and p = 0.307, respectively). SSG formats differed for total distance (p = 0.001; ES = 0.891; longer distance in 3 vs. 3 format), but not for %HRmax (p = 0.953; ES = 0.001).

Conclusions. Physiological and physical responses varied during bouts. Nevertheless, small differences between SSG formats were found. SSG bouts did not have significant impact on the lower limb power.

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Sixto González-Víllora, Anne Delextrat, Fernando Manuel Lourenço Martins and Juan Carlos Pastor Vicedo

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of different small-sided and conditioning games (SSCG) with different tactical contents on heart rate responses, technical performance and collective organization of youth basketball players of different performance levels. Twenty male basketball players from U14 (13.7 ± 0.8 years old; 4.2 ± 1.4 years of practice) and U16 (15.3 ± 1.1 years old; 6.4 ± 2.1 years of practice) participated in this research study. The two-way MANOVA revealed that the sports level (p = 0.009; ηp2 = 0.151), format (p = 0.001; ηp2 = 0.246) and task condition (p = 0.023; ηp2 = 0.104; small effect size) had significant main effects on heart rate responses. It was also found that the format (p = 0.001; ηp2 = 0.182) had significant main effects on technical performance. A smaller format significantly increased the heart rate, volume of play, efficiency index and collective density during attacking plays. The SSCG with attacking content statistically increased the heart rate, efficiency index and performance score. Therefore, this study revealed that different SSCGs with tactical content influenced the physiological responses of youth players.