Latest research in football - week 33 - 2014

Latest research in football

As previous literature updates, we have performed a PubCrawler search looking for football articles in NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases.

Following studies were retrieved for this week:


#1 Deceptive body movements reverse spatial cueing in soccer
Reference: PLoS One. 2014 Aug 6;9(8):e104290. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104290. eCollection 2014.
Authors: Wright MJ, Jackson RC
Download link:
Summary: The purpose of the experiments was to analyse the spatial cueing effects of the movements of soccer players executing normal and deceptive (step-over) turns with the ball. Stimuli comprised normal resolution or point-light video clips of soccer players dribbling a football towards the observer then turning right or left with the ball. Clips were curtailed before or on the turn (-160, -80, 0 or +80 ms) to examine the time course of direction prediction and spatial cueing effects. Participants were divided into higher-skilled (HS) and lower-skilled (LS) groups according to soccer experience. In experiment 1, accuracy on full video clips was higher than on point-light but results followed the same overall pattern. Both HS and LS groups correctly identified direction on normal moves at all occlusion levels. For deceptive moves, LS participants were significantly worse than chance and HS participants were somewhat more accurate but nevertheless substantially impaired. In experiment 2, point-light clips were used to cue a lateral target. HS and LS groups showed faster reaction times to targets that were congruent with the direction of normal turns, and to targets incongruent with the direction of deceptive turns. The reversed cueing by deceptive moves coincided with earlier kinematic events than cueing by normal moves. It is concluded that the body kinematics of soccer players generate spatial cueing effects when viewed from an opponent's perspective. This could create a reaction time advantage when anticipating the direction of a normal move. A deceptive move is designed to turn this cueing advantage into a disadvantage. Acting on the basis of advance information, the presence of deceptive moves primes responses in the wrong direction, which may be only partly mitigated by delaying a response until veridical cues emerge.

#2 Is team confidence the key to success? The reciprocal relation between collective efficacy, team outcome confidence, and perceptions of team performance during soccer games
Reference: J Sports Sci. 2014 Aug 5:1-13. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Fransen K, Decroos S, Vanbeselaere N, Vande Broek G, De Cuyper B, Vanroy J, Boen F.
Summary: The present manuscript extends previous research on the reciprocal relation between team confidence and perceived team performance in two ways. First, we distinguished between two types of team confidence; process-oriented collective efficacy and outcome-oriented team outcome confidence. Second, we assessed both types not only before and after the game, but for the first time also during half-time, thereby providing deeper insight into their dynamic relation with perceived team performance. Two field studies were conducted, each with 10 male soccer teams (N = 134 in Study 1; N = 125 in Study 2). Our findings provide partial support for the reciprocal relation between players' team confidence (both collective efficacy and team outcome confidence) and players' perceptions of the team's performance. Although both types of players' team confidence before the game were not significantly related to perceived team performance in the first half, players' team confidence during half-time was positively related to perceived team performance in the second half. Additionally, our findings consistently demonstrated a relation between perceived team performance and players' subsequent team confidence. Considering that team confidence is a dynamical process, which can be affected by coaches and players, our findings open new avenues to optimise team performance.

#3 Integrating different tracking systems in football: multiple camera semi-automatic system, local position measurement and GPS technologies
Reference: J Sports Sci. 2014 Aug 5:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Buchheit M, Allen A, Poon TK, Modonutti M, Gregson W, Di Salvo V.
Summary: During the past decade substantial development of computer-aided tracking technology has occurred. Therefore, we aimed to provide calibration equations to allow the interchangeability of different tracking technologies used in soccer. Eighty-two highly trained soccer players (U14-U17) were monitored during training and one match. Player activity was collected simultaneously with a semi-automatic multiple-camera (Prozone), local position measurement (LPM) technology (Inmotio) and two global positioning systems (GPSports and VX). Data were analysed with respect to three different field dimensions (small, <30 m2 to full-pitch, match). Variables provided by the systems were compared, and calibration equations (linear regression models) between each system were calculated for each field dimension. Most metrics differed between the 4 systems with the magnitude of the differences dependant on both pitch size and the variable of interest. Trivial-to-small between-system differences in total distance were noted. However, high-intensity running distance (>14.4 km · h-1) was slightly-to-moderately greater when tracked with Prozone, and accelerations, small-to-very largely greater with LPM. For most of the equations, the typical error of the estimate was of a moderate magnitude. Interchangeability of the different tracking systems is possible with the provided equations, but care is required given their moderate typical error of the estimate.

#4 Asymmetric Predictability and Cognitive Competition in Football Penalty Shootouts
Reference: Curr Biol. 2014 Jul 30. pii: S0960-9822(14)00839-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.07.013. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Misirlisoy E, Haggard P
Summary: Sports provide powerful demonstrations of cognitive strategies underlying competitive behavior [1]. Penalty shootouts in football (soccer) involve direct competition between elite players and absorb the attention of millions. The penalty shootout between Germany and England in the 1990 World Cup semifinal was viewed by an estimated 46.49% of the UK population [2]. In a penalty shootout, a goalkeeper must defend their goal without teammate assistance while an opposing series of kickers aim to kick the ball past them into the net. As in many sports [3], the ball during a penalty kick often approaches too quickly for the goalkeeper to react to its direction of motion; instead, the goalkeeper must guess the likely direction of the kick, and dive in anticipation, if they are to have a chance of saving the shot [4-6]. We examined all 361 kicks from the 37 penalty shootouts that occurred in World Cup and Euro Cup matches over a 36-year period from 1976 to 2012 and show that goalkeepers displayed a clear sequential bias. Following repeated kicks in the same direction, goalkeepers became increasingly likely to dive in the opposite direction on the next kick. Surprisingly, kickers failed to exploit these goalkeeper biases. Our findings highlight the importance of monitoring and predicting sequential behavior in real-world competition. Penalty shootouts pit one goalkeeper against several kickers in rapid succession. Asymmetries in the cognitive capacities of an individual versus a group could produce significant advantages over opponents.

#5 Strength and Conditioning for Soccer Players
Reference: Strength & Conditioning Journal: August 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 4 - p 1–13 doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000054
Authors: Turner AN, Stewart PE
Summary: Soccer characterized as a high intensity, intermittent contact team sport that requires a number of proficient physical and physiological capabilities to perform successfully. Apart from the necessary technical and tactical skills required, soccer players must also develop and retain a high level of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, speed, agility, strength and power these are best developed through high intensity interval training, SSG repeated sprints coached speed and agility sessions and strength and power based gym sessions. Soccer coaches and strength and conditioning coaches must work cohesively to ensure a structured and effective program is adhered to.


The Training Manager -