Variability of metabolic power data in elite soccer players during pre-season matches

Matthias Wilhelm Hoppe, Christian Baumgart, Mirko Slomka, Ted Polglaze, Juergen Freiwald

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    This study aimed to determine the within-subject variability of GPS-derived metabolic power data in elite soccer players across several pre-season matches and compare the variability of high metabolic power, velocity, acceleration and deceleration running. Additionally, differences in metabolic power data among playing positions and relationships with various physical abilities were also investigated. Metabolic power data from 12 outfield starting players competing in the German Bundesliga were collected during five pre-season matches using GPS-technology (10 Hz). The players were also tested for speed, agility, power and intermittent endurance. Variability of global metabolic power data such as energy expenditure (CV = 2.2-7.0%) was lower than that for high-intensity including time = 20 (CV = 14.0-26.2%). Variability of high metabolic power (>= 20; CV = 14.1 +/- 3.5%) was comparable to that of high velocity (>= 15.5 km.h(-)1; CV = 17.0 +/- 6.2%), acceleration (>= 3 m +/- s(-2); CV = 11.1 +/- 5.1%) and deceleration running ( 0.05, ES <0.2). Defenders had a largely higher overall energy expenditure than midfielders and attackers (p <0.01, ES > 0.6). Overall energy expenditure and cost were largely to very largely correlated with 5 m speed and 22 m agility sprint time and counter movement jump height (r = -0.70-0.69, p <0.05). The detected variability indicates that global GPS-derived metabolic power data in elite soccer players from a single preseason match should be preferably used for practical applications. Contrary, high-intensity indicators should be interpreted cautiously and repeated match observations are recommended to establish meaningful high-intensity profiles of the players. Differences among playing positions and relationships with explosive physical abilities indicate that metabolic power analyses can provide new insights into the mechanics and energetics of soccer.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-245
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Human Kinetics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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