The Impact of a Good Season Start on Team Performance in Elite Handball

Restricted access

Abstract

The aim of the current study was (i) to identify how important was a good season start in relation to elite handball teams’ performance, and (ii) to examine if this impact was related to the clubs’ financial budget. The match performances and annual budgets of all teams were collected from the Spanish Professional Handball League during ten seasons. The dependent variable was the difference between the ranking of each team in accordance to the annual budget and the ranking of each team at the end of the season. A k-means cluster analysis classified the clubs according to their budget as High Range Budget Clubs (HRBC), Upper-Mid Range Budget Clubs (UMRBC), Lower-Mid Range Budget Clubs (LMRBC) and Low Range Budget Clubs (LRBC). Data were examined through linear regression models. Overall, the results suggested that the better the team performance at the beginning of the season, the better the ranking at the end of the season. Each position in the ranking above expected in accordance to the budget of the teams in Rounds 3, 4 or 5 improved by 0.47, 0.50 or 0.49, respectively, in the ranking at the end of the season (p<0.05). However, the impact of the effect depended on the clubs’ annual budget. For UMRBC, LMRBC and LRBC a good start to the season had a positive effect on the final outcome (p<0.05). Nevertheless, for HRBC, a good or a bad start of the season did not explain their final position. These variables can be used to develop accurate models to estimate final rankings. UMRBC, LMRBC and LRBC can benefit from fine-tuning preseason planning in order to accelerate the acquisition of optimal performances.

Anderson C, Sally D. The numbers game: why everything you know about football is wrong. Penguin Books, New York; 2013

Carron AV, Bray SR, Eys MA. Team cohesion and team success in sport. J Sports Sci, 2002; 20: 119-126

Bangsbo J, Michalsik L. Assessment and physiological capacity of elite soccer players. In: T. Reilly and A. Murphy (Eds.). Science and Football IV. Routledge, Cambridge, UK, 53-62; 2002

Barros R, Misutal M, Menezes R, Figueroa PJ, Moura FA, Cunha SA, Anido R, Leite N. Analysis of the distances covered by first division Brazilian soccer players obtained with an automatic tracking method. J Sports Sci Med, 2007; 6: 233-242

Bloomfield J, Polman R, O’Donoghue P. Physical demands of different positions in FA Premier League soccer. J Sports Sci Med, 2007; 6: 63-70

Bradley PS, Sheldon W, Wooster B, Olsen P, Boanas P, Krustrup P. High-intensity running in English FA Premier League Soccer Matches. J Sports Sci, 2009; 27: 159-168

Carling C, Le Gall F, Reily T, Williams M. Do anthropometric and fitness characteristics vary according to birth date distribution in elite youth academy soccer players? Scan J Med Sci Sports, 2009; 17: 3-9

Carron AV, Colman MM, Wheeler J, Stevens D. Cohesion and performance in sport: A meta-analysis. J Sport Exerc Psychol, 2002; 24: 168-188

Ekstrand J, Hagglund M, Walden M. Injury incidence and injury patterns in professional football: The UEFA injury study. Br J Sports Med, 2011; 45: 553-558

Ekstrand J, Walden M, Hägglund M. A congested football calendar and the wellbeing of players: Correlation between match exposure of European footballers before the World Cup 2002 and their injuries and performances during that World Cup. Br J Sports Med, 2004; 38: 493-497

Feltz DL, Lirgg CD. Perceived team and player efficacy in hockey. J Appl Physiol, 1998; 83: 557-564

Folgado H, Duarte R, Fernandes O, Sampaio J. Competing with lower level opponents decreases intra-team movement synchronization and time-motion demands during pre-season soccer matches. Plos one, 2014; 9(5): e97145

Garcia-del-Barrio P, Szymanski S. Goal! Profit maximization versus win maximization in soccer. Rev Ind Organ, 2009; 34(1): 45-68

Gómez MA, Pollard R, Luis-Pascual JC. Comparison of the home advantage in nine different professional team sports in Spain 1. Percept Motor Skills, 2011; 113(1): 150-156

Gomes F, Volossovitch A, Ferreira A. Team timeout calling in handball. Int J Perform Analysis Sport, 2014; 14: 98-110

Heuzé JP, Raimbault N, Fontayne P. Relationships between cohesion, collective efficacy and performance in professional basketball teams: An examination of mediating effects. J Sports Sci, 2006; 24: 59-68

Hodges L, Carron AV. Collective efficacy and group performance. Int J Sport Psychol, 1992; 23: 48-59

Kozub SA, McDonnell JF. Exploring the relationship between cohesion and collective efficacy in rugby teams. J Sport Behav, 2000; 23: 120-129

Kuper S, Szymanski S. Why England lose: And other curious phenomena explained. HarperSport, London; 2009

Lago-Peñas C, Gómez MA, Viaño J, González-García I, Fernández-Villarino MA. Home advantage in elite handball: the impact of the quality of opposition on team performance. Int J Perform Analysis Sport, 2013; 13: 724-733

Lago-Peñas C, Sampaio J. Just how important is a good season start? Overall team performance and financial budget of elite soccer clubs. J Sports Sci, 2015: 33(12): 1214-1218

Lirgg CD, Feltz DL, Chase MA. Leadership and Relationships of Individual and Collective to Team Performance. J Sport Exerc Psychol, 1994; 16: 142-148

Myers ND, Feltz DL, Short SE. Collective efficacy and team performance: A longitudinal study of collegiate football teams. Group Dyn-Theory Res Pract, 2004; 8(2): 126-138

Oliveira T, Gómez M, Sampaio J. Effects of game location, period, and quality of opposition in elite handball performances 1. Percept Motor Skills, 2012; 114(3): 783-794

Ramsey JB. Tests for specification error in classical linear least-squares regression analysis. J Roy Stat Soc, 1969; 31: 350-371

Ramzaninezhad R, Keshtan M, Shahamat M, Kordshooli S. The relationship between collective efficacy, group cohesion and team performance in professional volleyball teams. Braz J Biomotricity, 2010; 3: 31-39

Ronglan LT. Building and communicating collective efficacy: A season-long in-depth study of an elite sport team. Sport Psychol, 2007; 21(1): 78-93

Sampaio J, Leite N. Performance indicators in game sports. In: T. McGarry, P. O´Donoghue and J. Sampaio (Eds.). Handbook of Sports Performance Analysis. Routledge, New York, 115-126; 2013

Spink RS. Group cohesion and collective efficacy of volleyball teams. J Sport Exerc Psychol, 1990; 12: 301-311

Szymanski S. A market test for discrimination in the English professional soccer leagues. J Polit Econ, 2000; 108: 590-603

Szymanski S, Kuypers T. Winners and losers. The business strategy of football. Viking Press, Londres; 1999

Szymanski S, Smith R. The English football industry: Profit, performance and industrial structure. Int Rev Appl Econ, 1997; 11(1): 135-153

Tessitore A, Meesun R, Cortis C, Capranica L. Effects of different recovery interventions on anaerobic performances following preseason soccer training. J Strength Cond Res, 2007; 21(3): 745-750

Volossovitch A. Handball. In: T. McGarry, P. O´Donoghue and J. Sampaio (Eds.). Handbook of Sports performance Analysis. Routledge, New York, 380-392; 2013

Watson CB, Chemers MM, Preiser N. Collective efficacy: A multilevel analysis. Pers Soc Psychol B, 2001; 4: 1057-1068

Journal of Human Kinetics

The Journal of Academy of Physical Education in Katowice

Journal Information


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.174
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.634

CiteScore 2017: 1.31

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.516
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.906

Figures

  • View in gallery

    The impact of the team performance in Round 3 on the ranking of the clubs at the end of the season

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 100 100 27
Full Text Views 37 37 0
PDF Downloads 5 5 0