Latest research in football - week 25 - 2018

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

Following studies were retrieved for this week:


#1 Short-Term Plyometric Jump Training Improves Repeated-Sprint Ability in Prepuberal Male Soccer Players
Reference: J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jun 14. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002703. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Negra Y, Chaabene H, Fernandez-Fernandez J, Sammoud S, Bouguezzi R, Prieske O, Granacher U
Summary: This study examined the effects of a short-term (i.e., 8 weeks) combined horizontal and vertical plyometric jump training (PJT) program in combination with regular soccer-specific training as compared with soccer-specific training only on jump and change of direction (CoD) performances, speed, and repeated-sprint ability (RSA) in prepuberal male soccer players. Twenty-four players were recruited and randomly assigned to either a PJT group (PJTG; n = 13; 12.7 ± 0.2 years) or an active control group (CONG; n = 11; 12.7 ± 0.2 years). The outcome measures included tests for the assessment of jump performance (drop jump from 20- to 40-cm height [DJ20 and DJ40] and 3-hop test [THT]), speed (20-m sprint), CoD (T-test), and RSA (20-m repeated shuttle sprint). Data were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences. Within-group analyses revealed large performance improvements in the T-test (d = -1.2), DJ20 (d = 3.7), DJ40 (d = 3.6), THT (d = 0.6), and the RSAtotal (d = -1.6) in the PJTG. Between-group analyses showed greater performance improvements in the T-test (d = -2.9), 20-m sprint time (d = -2.0), DJ20 (d = 2.4), DJ40 (d = 2.0), THT (d = 1.9), RSAbest (d = -1.9), and the RSAtotal (d = -1.9) in the PJTG compared with CONG. Eight weeks of an in-season PJT in addition to regular soccer-specific training induced larger increases in measures of physical fitness in prepuberal male soccer players compared with regular soccer-specific training only. More specifically, PJT was effective in improving RSA performance.

#2 Fitness Monitoring in Elite Soccer Players: Group vs. Individual Analyses
Reference: J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jun 14. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002700. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Rabbani A, Kargarfard M, Twist C
Summary: The aims of this study were to (a) examine changes in group and individual HR measures during a submaximal warm-up test, and (b) investigate the relationship between accumulated internal training loads and HR changes during an in-season phase among elite soccer players (n = 14). Before and after an in-season phase (24 days), exercise HR (HRex) and HR recovery (HRR) expressed either as the number of beats recovered (HRR60s) or as the mean HR (HRpost1) during 1 minute of recovery were analyzed. Heart rate measures were expressed as the % of maximal HR. Session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) was computed for all training/match sessions. Group and individual HR changes were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences. Pearson correlation coefficients were also used to examine the relationships. Group analyses of HR changes revealed there were possibly to likely trivial changes in all HR measures. When analyzing individual data, no substantial change was observed for HRR60s%. However, substantial changes in HRex% and HRpost1% were observed for 4/14 and 5/14 players, respectively. The relationships between HRex% and HRpost1% were nearly perfect (r = 0.90, confidence limits [0.82-0.95]). The associations between changes in HRex% and HRpost1% were also nearly perfect (r = 0.92, 0.80-0.97). A very large inverse correlation was observed between HRex% and accumulated sRPE (r = -0.75, -0.44 to -0.90). This study highlights the value of conducting individual vs. group aerobic fitness monitoring. This study also showed the importance of how HRR is reported when aerobic fitness monitoring of elite soccer players.

#3 Segmental decompressive fasciotomy for acute non-traumatic compartment syndrome in a professional soccer player: case report
Reference: Rev Bras Ortop. 2018 Feb 15;53(2):244-247. doi: 10.1016/j.rboe.2018.02.001. eCollection 2018 Mar-Apr.
Authors: Baumfeld D, Pereira AL, Lage CFG, Miura GM, Gomes YVT, Nery C
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Summary: Acute compartment syndrome in athletes is a rare orthopedic emergency associated with strenuous exercise. It is often diagnosed late and can lead to severe complications and high morbidity. This report describes the case of a young soccer player with acute compartment syndrome with no history of trauma, diagnosed and treated 24 h after the onset of symptoms, through minimally invasive decompressive fasciotomy, with good postoperative evolution.

Seems like I have missed those ones last year (strange,but anyway just in case), here they are!

#4 Balance Performance as Observed by Center-of-Pressure Parameter Characteristics in Male Soccer Athletes and Non-Athletes
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Nov 8;5(4). pii: E86. doi: 10.3390/sports5040086.
Authors: Thompson LA, Badache M, Cale S, Behera L, Zhang N
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Summary: Static balance has a relevant influence on athletic performance as well as on reducing the risk of injury. The main goal of this study was to assess soccer athlete versus non-athlete balance performance via displacement and velocity parameters extracted from the center-of-pressure (COP) position time series. In order to accomplish our goal, we investigated standing balance in two male groups with unimpaired balance: non-athletes (n = 12) and collegiate varsity soccer athletes (n = 12). In order to make the standing balancing task more or less difficult, we altered participant base-of-support, as well as vision, yielding static (quiet stance) test conditions increasing in difficulty. From the COP position time series, displacement and velocity parameters were computed and plotted as a function of increasing test condition difficulty level. COP parameters showed steeper increases with increased test difficulty in non-athletes compared to athletes; this demonstrated athletes' better ability to control their balance. We concluded that balance performance could be characterized via COP displacement and velocity response curves. This study lends new insights into how COP parameters can be utilized to determine and characterize improvements in balance between un-impaired subject populations (athletes versus non-athletes).

#5 Executive Function and the P300 after Treadmill Exercise and Futsal in College Soccer Players
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Sep 26;5(4). pii: E73. doi: 10.3390/sports5040073.
Authors: Won J, Wu S, Ji H, Smith JC, Park J
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Summary: Although a body of evidence demonstrates that acute exercise improves executive function, few studies have compared more complex, laboratory-based modes of exercise, such as soccer that involve multiple aspects of the environment. Twelve experienced soccer players (24.8 ± 2 years) completed three counterbalanced 20 min sessions of (1) seated rest; (2) moderate intensity treadmill exercise; and (3) a game of futsal. Once heart rate returned to within 10% of pre-activity levels, participants completed the Stroop Color Word Conflict Task while reaction time (RT) and P300 event-related potentials were measured. Reaction time during Stroop performance was significantly faster following the futsal game and treadmill exercise compared to the seated rest. The P300 amplitude during Stroop performance was significantly greater following futsal relative to both treadmill and seated-rest conditions. These findings suggest that single bouts of indoor soccer among college-aged soccer players, compared to treadmill and seated-rest conditions, may engender the greatest effect on brain networks controlling attention allocation and classification speed during the performance of an inhibitory control task. Future research is needed to determine if cognitively engaging forms of aerobic exercise may differentially impact executive control processes in less experienced and older adult participants.

#6 Effects of Heart Rate vs. Speed-Based High Intensity Interval Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity of Female Soccer Players
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Aug 4;5(3). pii: E57. doi: 10.3390/sports5030057.
Authors: Arazi H, Keihaniyan A, EatemadyBoroujeni A, Oftade A, Takhsha S, Asadi A, Ramirez-Campillo R
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Summary: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two types of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programs on aerobic and anaerobic capacity of female soccer players. Regional-level female athletes were randomly divided into heart rate-based HIIT (n = 8; age 23.4 ± 1.1 year) and speed-based HIIT groups (n = 8; age 23.4 ± 1.3 year). Athletes trained three days per week for six weeks. Before and after training, each athlete's performance was assessed directly through the Hoff test, 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT), and repeated-sprint ability test (RAST); maximal oxygen consumption (VO₂max), power and fatigue were estimated indirectly. Both experimental groups improved power, fatigue index and VO₂max after training (p < 0.05). It was noteworthy that the speed-based group had greater gains in minimal power (effect size (ES): 3.99 vs. 0.75), average power (ES: 2.23 vs. 0.33), and fatigue index (ES: 2.53 vs. 0.17) compared to heart rate-based group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, both heart rate-based and speed-based HIIT induced meaningful improvements in power, VO₂max, and fatigue index in female soccer players, although the speed-based HIIT group achieved greater gains in power and fatigue index compared to the heart rate-based group.

#7 The Role of Eccentric Strength in 180° Turns in Female Soccer Players
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Jun 17;5(2). pii: E42. doi: 10.3390/sports5020042.
Authors: Jones PA, Thomas C, Dos'Santos T, McMahon JJ, Graham-Smith P
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Summary: Previous studies have reported an association between eccentric strength (ECC-STR) and change of direction (COD) ability. Little is known about how ECC-STR facilitates COD maneuvers. The aim of this study was to examine the role of ECC-STR during a 180° COD task in 18 female soccer players. Each player performed six trials of a 180° COD task whereby three-dimensional motion data from 10 Qualisys Pro-Reflex infrared cameras (240 Hz) and ground reaction forces (GRFs) from two AMTI force platforms (1200 Hz) were collected. Relative eccentric knee extensor (ECC-EXT) and flexor (ECC-FLEX) peak torque was collected from both limbs at 60°·s-1 using a Kin Com isokinetic dynamometer. Large correlations were revealed between COD performance (time to complete 5 m approach, 180° turn, 5 m return) and ECC-EXT (R = -0.674) and ECC-FLEX (R = -0.603). Moderate to large correlations were observed between approach velocity (AV) and COD performance (R = -0.484) and ECC-EXT (R = 0.724). Stronger participants (n = 9) recorded significantly (p < 0.05) faster AV (4.01 ± 0.18 vs. 3.74 ± 0.24 m·s-1, d = 1.27) and a greater reduction in velocity (-1.55 ± 0.17 vs. -1.37 ± 0.21 m·s-1, d = -0.94) during penultimate contact than weaker (n = 9) subjects. Greater ECC-STR is associated with faster COD performance in female soccer players, as stronger players are better able to decelerate during penultimate contact from faster approach velocities.

#8 Nutrition and Supplementation in Soccer
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 May 12;5(2). pii: E28. doi: 10.3390/sports5020028.
Authors: Oliveira CC, Ferreira D, Caetano C, Granja D, Pinto R, Mendes B, Sousa M
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Summary: Contemporary elite soccer features increased physical demands during match-play, as well as a larger number of matches per season. Now more than ever, aspects related to performance optimization are highly regarded by both players and soccer coaches. Here, nutrition takes a special role as most elite teams try to provide an adequate diet to guarantee maximum performance while ensuring a faster recovery from matches and training exertions. It is currently known that manipulation and periodization of macronutrients, as well as sound hydration practices, have the potential to interfere with training adaptation and recovery. A careful monitoring of micronutrient status is also relevant to prevent undue fatigue and immune impairment secondary to a deficiency status. Furthermore, the sensible use of evidence-based dietary supplements may also play a role in soccer performance optimization. In this sense, several nutritional recommendations have been issued. This detailed and comprehensive review addresses the most relevant and up-to-date nutritional recommendations for elite soccer players, covering from macro and micronutrients to hydration and selected supplements in different contexts (daily requirements, pre, peri and post training/match and competition).

#9 Detection and Selection of Behavioral Patterns Using Theme: A Concrete Example in Grassroots Soccer
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Mar 13;5(1). pii: E20. doi: 10.3390/sports5010020.
Authors: Amatria M, Lapresa D, Arana J, Anguera MT, Jonsson GK
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Summary: Observational methodology provides a rigorous yet flexible framework for capturing behaviors over time to allow for the performance of subsequent diachronic analyses of the data captured. Theme is a specialized software program that detects hidden temporal behavioral patterns (T-patterns) within data sets. It is increasingly being used to analyze performance in soccer and other sports. The aim of this study was to show how to select and interpret T-patterns generated by the application of three "quantitative" sort options in Theme and three "qualitative" filters established by the researchers. These will be used to investigate whether 7-a-side (F7) or 8-a-side (F8) soccer is best suited to the learning and skills development needs of 7- and 8-year-old male soccer players. The information contained in the T-patterns generated allowed us to characterize patterns of play in children in this age group. For both formats, we detected technical-tactical behaviors showing that children of this age have difficulty with first-touch actions and controlling the ball after a throw-in. We also found that ball control followed by a pass or a shot at the goal are common in the central corridor of the pitch. Further, depth of play is achieved by ball control, followed by dribbling and a pass or shot. In F8, we saw that depth of play was achieved through ball control, followed by dribbling and passing of one or more opponents leading to a pass or shot. However, in F7, we saw that players succeeded in advancing from their goal area to the rival goal area through a sequence of actions.

#10 Functional Movement Screen Scores and Physical Performance among Youth Elite Soccer Players
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Feb 21;5(1). pii: E16. doi: 10.3390/sports5010016.
Authors: Silva B, Clemente FM, Camoes M, Bezerra P
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Summary: This study had two main objectives: (1) to determine if differences in Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores exist between two levels of competition; and (2) to analyze the association between FMS individual and overall scores and physical performance variables of lower-limb power (jumps), repeated sprint ability and shot speed. Twenty-two Under 16 (U16) and twenty-six Under 19 (U19) national competitive soccer players participated in this study. All participants were evaluated according to anthropometrics, FMS, jump performance, instep kick speed and anaerobic performance. There were no significant differences in the individual FMS scores between competitive levels. There were significant negative correlations between hurdle step (right) and Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Test (RAST) power average ( ρ = -0.293; p = 0.043) and RAST fatigue index (RAST FatIndex) ( ρ = -0.340; p = 0.018). The hurdle step (left) had a significant negative correlation to squat jump (SJ) ( ρ = -0.369; p = 0.012). Rotary stability had a significant negative correlation to RAST fatigue index (Right: ρ = -0.311; p = 0.032. Left: ρ = -0.400; p = 0.005). The results suggest that individual FMS scores may be better discriminants of performance than FMS total score and established minimal association between FMS scores and physical variables. Based on that, FMS may be suitable for the purposes of determining physical function but not for discriminating physical performance.

#11 Differences in the Dominant and Non-Dominant Knee Valgus Angle in Junior Elite and Amateur Soccer Players after Unilateral Landing
Reference: Sports (Basel). 2017 Feb 13;5(1). pii: E14. doi: 10.3390/sports5010014.
Authors: Ludwig O, Simon S, Piret J, Becker S, Marschall F
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Summary: More than 70% of all knee injuries in soccer occur in non-contact situations. It is known that increased lower limb dynamic knee valgus is associated with such situations. Little has been found out about differences in knee kinematics of the dominant (kicking) and non-dominant (supporting) leg during a single leg landing. A total of 114 male adolescent soccer players (age 14.6 ± 1.1 years) from elite (N = 66) and amateur soccer clubs (N = 48) performed a single leg drop landing down from a box. For each leg, the two-dimensional dynamic knee valgus angle (DKVA) was calculated. Paired t-tests were used to statistically determine significant differences between dominant and non-dominant leg DKVA, and t-tests were calculated between the two performance groups. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were identified for the DKVA between the dominant and non-dominant leg for both amateur and elite players, showing a greater DKVA for the dominant leg. Group differences for the DKVA between amateur and elite players were not found, neither for the dominant, nor for the non-dominant leg. It can be concluded that the non-dominant leg showed more stable dynamics than the dominant leg during unilateral landing regardless of the player's performance level. This could be due to adaptions to sport-specific requirements. Therefore, it is recommended that programs to prevent knee injuries among soccer players consider the dynamics of each leg individually.

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