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.
The aim of this study was twofold: i) to compare the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and the frequencies of technical actions per minute in different small-sided games (SSGs) between under-14 and under-16 age groups, and ii) to compare the RPE and the frequencies of technical actions per minute between 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 4 x 4 and 5 x 5 formats within age groups. Twenty young male basketball players from the same club (N = 10, from under-14; N = 10, from under-16) competing at the national level voluntarily participated in this study. Five different SSGs (1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 4 x 4 and 5 x 5) were played twice on courts of the same relative area and were compared in terms of the RPE and technical actions. The number of technical-tactical actions per minute, i.e. conquered balls (CB), received balls (RB), lost balls (LB), attacking balls/passes (AB), shots (S), rebounds (R), and the RPE were collected for each player for each SSG session. The results revealed that most of the differences between age groups were considered trivial/small and/or unclear for all SSG formats, though likely moderate differences between age groups were found in 1 x 1 and 2 x 2 SSGs, revealing that young players had greater frequencies of received, conquered, and lost balls. Within-age-group comparisons also showed moderate-to-large increases in technical actions during smaller formats than during larger ones. The main evidence of this study revealed that age group seemed not to largely influence the RPE or technical actions during different SSGs. However, smaller formats moderately-to-largely increased the number of technical actions. Interestingly, the biggest format (5 x 5) largely increased the RPE in comparison to the remaining formats. As a conclusion, technical actions and the RPE were influenced more by the format of play than by the age group.
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.
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.
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
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.
The purpose of this study was three‐fold: (i) to test the between‐sessions variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats in under‐11 players, (ii) to assess the within‐session variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats, and (iii) to investigate the variations of technical actions between formats. Sixteen soccer players (10.1 ± 0.3 years old) participated in this study. Both formats of play were played twice within an interval of one week to test the between‐session variability and the variables of conquered balls (CBs), received balls (RBs), lost balls (LBs), attacking balls/passes (ABs) and shots (Ss) were analyzed using the Performance Assessment in Team Sports instrument in all matches. Moderate variations on the sum of sets during the 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats were observed in all variables. Considering the variations of technical actions made between sets in the 3 vs. 3 format, likely moderate increases were found in set 2 vs. 1 in terms of RB (37.5%, [‐2.7;94.2]), and likely small decreases were found in set 3 vs. 2 for the same variable (‐18.3%, [‐37.8;7.3]). In the 6 vs. 6 format, only possibly small increases were found for set 3 vs. 1 in S (22.5%, [‐7.0;61.3]). Generally (sum of sets), the variables standardized per minute revealed almost certain very large decreases in the 6 vs. 6 vs. the 3 vs. 3 format in the variables of CB (‐67.9%, [‐75.3;‐55.9]), LB (‐66.0%, [‐73.9;‐55.7]), RB (‐65.6%, [‐74.8;‐ 53.1]) and S (‐87.6%, [‐93.1;‐77.7]). The results of this study suggest that both formats of play are too noisy to be reproducible. The 3 vs. 3 format largely increased the number of individual technical actions.
The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the types and intensity of the jumps that professional male volleyball players executed. Seven male elite volleyball players participated in this study. The sample was composed of 1599 jumps performed in 15 sets of five official matches of the regular season of a professional team. A descriptive pilot study design was implemented to analyze the types of jumps and jump heights by particular playing positions (outside hitters, setter, and middle blockers). The jump height was recorded using an inertial measurement device. No significant differences in the heights of jumps were found between the sets of the matches. Different players’ roles had different frequencies for different types of jumps and jump intensities. The data provide reference values of the type of jumps performed, their frequency, and intensity by particular playing positions in competition. The results confirm the need to individualize the practice and training of volleyball players according to the players’ roles. Extensive studies are needed to provide more information about repeated jump ability in volleyball players.
Study aim: The purpose of this study was twofold: (i) to compare total attacks, points in the defense phase and attack efficiency between playing positions; and (ii) to identify the main predictors of overall volleyball teams’ success related to points made during the game.
Material and methods: 282 sets with a total of 33 174 actions and 8 231 points were analyzed. The study included 14 teams participating in the male First Division Portuguese Championship (53 games from the 2016/2017 season and 27 from the first phase of the 2017/2018 season, for a total of 80 matches).
Results: The most important parameters for the overall performance are efficacy of points in defense phase, aces, block points, and attack efficiency. Overall team performance variables statistically significantly predicted the total points of the team, F16,1091 = 39.375, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.366. Considering the comparisons between players’ performances, it was found that the setter had the lowest number of points in the defense phase and total attacks. Opposites had more total attacks and points in the defense phase than the other players (at a small-to-moderate magnitude).
Conclusion: The results revealed the importance of the efficacy of points in the defense phase, namely regarding the service action, block point, and attack efficiency, to improve the possibilities of winning.
The aim of the present study was to compare combined small‐sided game (SSG) and high‐intensity interval training (HIT) with different order. Twenty‐one semi‐professional soccer players were divided into two groups: SSG+HIT (n = 10) and HIT+SSG (n = 11), and underwent similar four‐week training programs. Players completed the 30‐15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30‐15IFT) before and after the experiment; maximum speed (VIFT) was recorded. During the experiment, seven sessions of SSG (3 vs 3) and HIT (15ʺ‐15ʺ with 95‐100% VIFT) were implemented. Weekly accumulated training loads for both groups during the experiment were similar. Moderate improvements in VIFT were observed in both SSG+HIT (+6.2%, 90% confidence limits, [CL] 4.6; 7.7 and Effect Size, [ES] +0.96) and HIT+SSG (+6.9%, 90% CL 4.6; 9.3 and ES +0.97) groups. Between‐group difference in changes of VIFT was trivial (+0.7%, 90% CL ‐1.8; 3.3 and ES +0.11). Combining SSG and HIT in different order elicited the same enhancement in high‐intensity intermittent performance in soccer players.