Latest research in football - week 35 - 2022

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 Effects of an experimental short-time high-intensity warm-up on explosive muscle strength performance in soccer players: A pilot study

Reference: Front Physiol. 2022 Aug 25;13:984305. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.984305. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Antonino Patti, Valerio Giustino, Norikazu Hirose, Giuseppe Messina, Stefania Cataldi, Giuseppe Grigoli, Alida Marchese, Giuseppe Mulè, Patrik Drid, Antonio Palma, Antonino Bianco

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Summary: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an experimental short-time warm-up consisting of a small number of intermittent high-intensity sprints on explosive muscle strength performance in soccer players and to identify recovery times after performing the sprints. Furthermore, we evaluated the reliability of a smartphone app in jumping performance.  Twenty male soccer players were given the following tests: 1) the counter-movement jump (CMJ) test with the Microgate system, 2) the counter-movement jump (CMJ) test with the MyJump smartphone app, and 3) the handgrip strength test. The experimental short-time high-intensity warm-up was carried out 1 week after test administration. The warm-up consisted of three maximum sprints over 60 m with 120 s of recovery between sprints. Then, the tests were administered again: the vertical jump height (VJH) performances (five trials) were measured 90 s after the last sprint; the handgrip strength performances (three trials) were measured 120 s after the last vertical jump test. The maximum VJH was found in the third trial of the CMJ test, 330 s after the last sprint (p < 0.01), the result closest to the baseline. The lowest VJH was found in the first trial of the CMJ test, 90 s after the last sprint (p < 0.05). Pearson's analysis between the CMJ test with the Microgate system and the CMJ test with MyJump showed a strong correlation (R = 0.96). Lin's concordance correlation coefficient showed a substantial concordance (ρc = 0.959) between measures. This experimental short-time warm-up of high-intensity intermittent sprints appears to be a simple, quick, and efficient activity to accelerate soccer players' optimal performance.



#2 Evaluation of 10-Week Neuromuscular Training Program on Body Composition of Elite Female Soccer Players

Reference: Biology (Basel). 2022 Jul 17;11(7):1062. doi: 10.3390/biology11071062.

Authors: Alberto Roso-Moliner, Elena Mainer-Pardos, José Luis Arjol-Serrano, Antonio Cartón-Llorente, Hadi Nobari, Demetrio Lozano

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Summary: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of a 10-week neuromuscular training program (NMT) on the sum of six skinfolds (Σ6S) and body composition variables in elite female soccer players. Forty-four Spanish elite female soccer players (age: 24.0 ± 4.2 years; height: 164.3 ± 5.5 cm; body mass: 60.4 ± 5.5 kg; body mass index (BMI): 22.4 ± 2.2 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to a control group (CG) or to an experimental group (EG). Participants in the EG completed a specific NMT program of 24 min, three times per week, which included exercises from six different categories (mobility, dynamic stability, anterior chain strength, lumbopelvic control, posterior chain strength, and change of direction). The CG followed their normal strength and conditioning program. Pre- and post-intervention assessments included anthropometric measurements (weight, height, limb circumferences, and bone breadths), and subsequently, body composition factors BMI, Σ6S, body mass, muscle mass, and lean body mass were calculated. Nutrition was standardized by a nutritionist and also load monitored. A two-way mixed analysis of variance (group × time) revealed that there was a significant (p ≤ 0.001) group × time interaction between body mass, fat mass, and Σ6S in favor of NMT. A significant interaction was also observed for body skeletal muscle mass and lean body mass favoring NMT. The application of an NMT program seems to be a useful strategy to improve body composition in elite female soccer players.



#3 Relative age effects and the youth-to-senior transition in Italian soccer: the underdog hypothesis versus knock-on effects of relative age

Reference: Sci Med Footb. 2022 Sep 20;1-7. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2022.2125170. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Gabriele Morganti, Adam L Kelly, Gennaro Apollaro, Laura Pantanella, Mario Esposito, Alberto Grossi, Bruno Ruscello

Summary: Relative Age Effects (RAEs) appear largely throughout youth soccer. However, little is known about how RAEs at youth levels can impact transition at senior levels. Accordingly, this study aimed to : (a) provide further test of RAEs by exploring the birth quarter (BQ) distribution of 2,030 Italian players born from 1975 to 2001 who have played in any of the Youth National Italian Soccer Teams ; and (b) investigate how RAEs influence future career outcomes, by exploring the BQ distribution of players who completed the transition from youth squads to the Senior National Team (n = 182) Chi-square statistics revealed significantly skewed BQ distributions for all Youth squads (P values <0.0001), and for the cohort of players who completed the transition (P = 0.003). In contrast, results from the Odds Ratios highlighted how BQ4s were more likely to transition from youth-to-senior compared to BQ1s . Results showed BQ1s remained overrepresented at senior level due to a residual bias effect. Whereas BQ4s who were able to overcome selection processes at youth levels recorded the highest likelihood of competing at senior levels. Involving players' career trajectories in RAEs studies is needed to understand how RAEs impacts career outcomes of early selected players.



#4 Where do you go when your periods go?: A case-study examining secondary amenorrhea in a professional internationally-capped female soccer player through the lens of the sport nutritionist

Reference: Sci Med Footb. 2022 Sep 15. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2022.2123555. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Lloyd J F Parker, Kirsty J Elliott-Sale, Marcus Hannon, James P Morton, Graeme L Close

Summary: This case study follows a professional internationally capped female soccer player's two-year journey from eumenorrhea, through injury, to amenorrhea, and the challenges faced by the player and nutritionist. The two years are split into three sections: (1) longitudinal profiling of the player, (2) nutrition to support her return from injury, and (3) investigation into the observed secondary amenorrhea. The cause of amenorrhea was investigated through the assessment of energy availability via doubly labelled water, remote food photography, blood biomarkers and resting metabolic rate. Despite having secondary amenorrhea and anovulatory cycles, the player did not have low energy availability. This study shows the importance for practitioner's, particularly nutritionists, to not assume that all menstrual irregularities are caused by low energy availability and could be caused by a combination of factors (e.g. clinical, physiological, and psychological), which requires a multi-disciplinary investigation and intervention team. This study also showed that education needs to be provided about menstrual health to elite female soccer players as the player (i) believed that not having a period was beneficial for performance and unsure of possible health implications; (ii) was convinced that a one-day bleed indicated a regular menstrual cycle; and (iii) was reluctant to waste the practitioners time discussing menstrual issues and was nervous of finding out if she had an actual health issue. It is therefore crucial that players feel comfortable in discussing their menstrual status with practitioners to support their performance and long-term health.



#5 The effects of injury, contextual match factors and training load upon psychological wellbeing in English Premier League soccer players via season-long tracking

Reference: Eur J Sport Sci. 2022 Sep 15;1-22. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2022.2125834. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Sophie Grimson, Gary Brickley, Nicholas J Smeeton, Will Abbott, Adam Brett

Summary: The study aimed to track psychological wellbeing (PWB) across two consecutive soccer seasons examining the effects of injury, illness, training load (TL) and contextual match factors (playing status, match selection and individual win-rate). Furthermore, examine PWB prior to injury or illness event. Thirty-two English Premier League (EPL) soccer players completed the 'Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale' every two weeks. No differences were found for group averaged PWB across the seasons (52.2 ± 0.3 vs. 51.8 ± 1.1) (p >0.05). Previous 7-day TL measured using GPS (session duration, total distance, explosive distance, low-intensity distance, high speed distance (HSD) and sprint distance (SD)) were not related to current PWB (p > 0.05). Yet, previous 14-day HSD (r (385) = -0.095) and 21-day SD (r (385) = 0.100) were related to current PWB (p < 0.05). Only 100% (vs. 0%) win-rate in the previous 14-days to the questionnaire revealed a higher current PWB score (52.7 ± 4.7 vs. 50.9 ± 5.6 (p < 0.05)). PWB did not differ prior to an injury or illness event, when players were injured or had low contextual match factors at time of questionnaire or previous match, and the previous 7-days (p > 0.05). In conclusion, PWB fluctuations across the season are associated with prior TL and multiple negative results. But prior PWB was not linked to injury or illness events. Implications for prioritising interventions to improve PWB during periods of chronic high intensity TLs and losing streaks, monitoring PWB, and use in injury and illness prediction are discussed.



#6 Team-Builder: Toward More Effective Lineup Selection in Soccer

Reference: IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2022 Sep 16;PP. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2022.3207147.

Authors: Anqi Cao, Ji Lan, Xiao Xie, Hongyu Chen, Xiaolong Zhang, Hui Zhang, Yingcai Wu

Summary: Lineup selection is an essential and important task in soccer matches. To win a match, coaches must consider various factors and select appropriate players for a planned formation. Computation-based tools have been proposed to help coaches on this complex task, but they are usually based on over-simplified models on player performances, do not support interactive analysis, and overlook the inputs by coaches. In this paper, we propose a method for visual analytics of soccer lineup selection by tackling two challenges: characterizing essential factors involved in generating optimal lineup, and supporting coach-driven visual analytics of lineup selection. We develop a lineup selection model that integrates such important factors, such as spatial regions of player actions and defensive interactions with opponent players. A visualization system, Team-Builder, is developed to help coaches control the process of lineup generation, explanation, and comparison through multiple coordinated views. The usefulness and effectiveness of our system are demonstrated by two case studies on a real-world soccer event dataset.



#7 Season Match Loads of a Portuguese Under-23 Soccer Team: Differences between Different Starting Statuses throughout the Season and Specific Periods within the Season Using Global Positioning Systems

Reference: Sensors (Basel). 2022 Aug 24;22(17):6379. doi: 10.3390/s22176379.

Authors: João Barreira, Fábio Y Nakamura, Ricardo Ferreira, João Pereira, Rodrigo Aquino, Pedro Figueiredo

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Summary: This study aimed to quantify the external match loads (EMLs) of a Portuguese u-23 soccer team, competing at the highest national level for the age group, comparing players with different starting status throughout a competitive season and specific blocks. Thirty-five outfield soccer players were split into three groups for the entire season analysis and for each 3-month block, based on the percentage of games played as a starter. The three groups consisted of "starters" (≥55% of the games as a starter), "fringe" (30-54%), and "non-starters" (&lt;30%). EMLs were recorded using 10 Hz GPS technology throughout the whole season (26 matches). Differences (p &lt; 0.05) were found for total distance (TD), exposure time, and the number of accelerations and decelerations between starters and non-starters throughout the season (d = 0.73 to 1.08), and within each block (d = 0.59 to 1.68). Differences were also found between starters and fringe players for the number of accelerations in Block 2 (p = 0.03; d = 0.69), and TD (p = 0.006; d = 1) and exposure time (p = 0.006; d = 0.95) in Block 3. Differences in the EML were almost always accompanied by large differences in game time. Our results highlight the differences in the EML of starters and non-starters, emphasizing the need for compensatory training, especially with players that obtain significantly less playing time, to prepare the players for match demands (e.g., high-intensity efforts such as sprinting, accelerations, and decelerations).



#8 COVID-19 as a Potential Cause of Muscle Injuries in Professional Italian Serie A Soccer Players: A Retrospective Observational Study

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 5;19(17):11117. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191711117.

Authors: Giuseppe Annino, Vincenzo Manzi, Anas Radi Alashram, Cristian Romagnoli, Mattia Coniglio, Niloofar Lamouchideli, Marco Alfonso Perrone, Dolores Limongi, Elvira Padua

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Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked the entire planet. The soccer world has also suffered major upheavals, and many professional soccer players have been infected with the virus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of injuries in Italian Serie A professional soccer players before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We evaluated the incidence of muscle injuries between four competitive seasons of the Italian Serie A (2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 pre-COVID-19 vs. 2020/2021 post-COVID-19) in professional soccer players. Results: Significant differences were found in muscular injuries between the post-COVID-19 season and the previous seasons (p &lt; 0.001). The median split of the players' positivity duration was of 15 days. The players' long positivity (PLP) group showed a significant number of muscular injuries compared to the players' short positivity (PSP) group (p &lt; 0.0014, ES = 0.81, Large). The total teams' days of positivity were significantly related to the total team number of muscular injuries (r = 0.86; CI 95% 0.66 to 0.94; p &lt; 0.0001). In conclusion, this data showed that the competitive season post-COVID-19 lockdown has a higher incidence of muscle injuries in Italian Serie A soccer players compared to the pre-pandemic competitive season.



#9 Anthropometric and Physiological Profiles of Hungarian Youth Male Soccer Players of Varying Ages and Playing Positions: A Multidimensional Assessment with a Critical Approach

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 3;19(17):11041. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191711041.

Authors: Imre Soós, Krzysztof Borysławski, Michał Boraczyński, Ferenc Ihasz, Robert Podstawski

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Summary: This study aimed to create preliminary anthropometric and physiological profiles of Hungarian male soccer players belonging to different age categories (14, 15, 16, and 17-18-years) and assigned to different playing positions (forward, defender, midfielder, goalkeeper). Anthropometric and physiological profiles were created for four age groups: 14- (n = 20), 15- (n = 16), 16- (n = 22) and 17-18-year-olds (n = 23) representing the Hungarian soccer academy. Additionally, the variables were analyzed across the four player positions mentioned above. The mean values of body mass, fat mass and BMI were within normal limits, although in some cases the anthropometric and body composition values were too high, particularly among the 17-18-year-olds. The mean values of HRrest were lowest among the 15-year-olds. The highest mean and maximal values of rVO2max and rVO2/AT [57.6 ± 8.12 (43.8-68.3) and 51.2 ± 7.24 (38.9-60.8) mL/kg/min, respectively] were noted in 14-year-olds. Goalkeepers performed significantly better than the remaining soccer players in terms of the most anthropometric and physiological characteristics, except for the Yo-Yo test (p &lt; 0.001). The values of anthropometric parameters increased with age. As expected, the oldest group achieved the best results in the performance tests. Goalkeepers outperformed the players representing other playing positions in the tests when assessing lower limb strength, sprint performance (5- and 10-m distance), and agility tests. From a practical point of view, the presented anthropometric and physiological profiles of players representing different age groups and playing positions can be useful for soccer coaches, strength and conditioning specialists, and athletic trainers of other soccer clubs in terms of the individualization and optimalization of soccer training.



#10 Effect of Small-Sided Games with and without the Offside Rule on Young Soccer Players: Reliability of Physiological Demands

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 24;19(17):10544. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191710544.

Authors: Igor Junio Oliveira Custódio, Renan Dos Santos, Rafael de Oliveira Ildefonso, André Andrade, Rodrigo Diniz, Gustavo Peixoto, Sarah Bredt, Gibson Moreira Praça, Mauro Heleno Chagas

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Summary: This study aimed to compare the physiological demand between three vs. three small-sided games (SSGs) with (3vs.3WITH) and without (3vs.3WITHOUT) the offside rule, as well as the within- and between-session reliability of this demand. Twenty-four U-17 soccer athletes performed various three vs. three (plus goalkeepers) SSGs with and without the offside rule. The data collection was performed within an eight-week period. Athletes' heart rate was monitored during the SSG. The variables analyzed were the percentage mean heart rate (HRMEAN%) and the percentage peak heart rate (HRPEAK%). For the analysis of within-session reliability, the mean value of the first two and last two SSG bouts performed within one day were used. The between-session reliability was calculated using the mean value of the four SSG bouts of each SSG type performed on two different days. In both SSGs, the values for reliability were significant and were classified as moderate to excellent. There were no significant differences in the physiological demand among SSG types. We concluded that the offside rule does not influence the physiological demand in a three vs. three SSG and the HRMEAN% and HRPEAK% present moderate to excellent reliability in a three vs. three SSG with and without the offside rule.



#11 The Effects of a Visual Stimuli Training Program on Reaction Time, Cognitive Function, and Fitness in Young Soccer Players

Reference: Sensors (Basel). 2022 Sep 3;22(17):6680. doi: 10.3390/s22176680.

Authors: Georgia Theofilou, Ioannis Ladakis, Charikleia Mavroidi, Vasileios Kilintzis, Theodoros Mirachtsis, Ioanna Chouvarda, Evangelia Kouidi

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Summary: The purpose of the present study was to examine whether a visual stimuli program during soccer training can affect reaction time (RT), cognitive function, and physical fitness in adolescent soccer players. Thirty-eight male soccer players aged 10-15 were randomly assigned to either the intervention (Group A) or the control group (Group B). At baseline and at the end of the 6-month study FITLIGHT Trainer, the Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile Test Suite, a Virtual Reality (VR) game, and the ALPHA-Fitness and the Eurofit test batteries were used to measure participants' abilities. After the baseline assessment, Group A followed their regular soccer training combined with a visual stimuli program, while Group B continued their regular soccer training program alone for 6 months. At the end of the 6-month study, Group A showed statistically significant improvements in simple RT by 11.8% (p = 0.002), repeated sprints by 13.4% (p ≤ 0.001), and Pen-to-Point Cognitive Function by 71.62% (p &lt; 0.001) and 72.51% for dominant and non-dominant hands, respectively. However, a between-groups analysis showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in most of the measurements studied. In conclusion, a visual stimuli training program does not seem to add any value to the traditional soccer training program for adolescents. Nevertheless, this study helps to underline the potential of newly emerging technology as a tool for the assessment of RT.



#12 Perspectives of the barriers and enablers to nutritional adherence in professional male academy football players

Reference: Sci Med Footb. 2022 Sep 20;1-12. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2022.2123554. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Jennie L Carter, David J Lee, Mayur K Ranchordas, Matthew Cole

Summary: Nutritional intake is important for young football players; however, little is known about the factors that influence their nutritional adherence. The aim of this study was to investigate players', sports nutritionists',and coaches' perspectives of the barriers and enablers to adhering to nutritional recommendations within a professional football club. Individual interviews, based on the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation - Behaviour (COM-B) model and Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), were conducted with 13 players (18 ± 1.3 years), 12 sports nutritionists, and 10 coaches from 2, 12, and 10 professional football clubs, respectively. Thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. Seven key themes were generated relating to the players' barriers and enablers to nutritional adherence: (1) Capability: (a) Nutritional Knowledge; (b) Cooking Skills; (2) Opportunity: (c) Training Venue Food Provision; (d) Nutritionist Accessibility and Approachability; (e) Living Status: (3) Motivation: (f) Performance Implications; and (g) Role Modelling. Inadequate food provision within the training and home environment, and limited time with the sports nutritionist were key barriers to nutritional adherence in youth football players. Football clubs should allocate more time for sports nutritionists to deliver nutrition support and sports nutritionists should aim to control the players environment to support optimal nutritional intake.



#13 Self-Assessment of Physical Fitness and Health versus Motivational Value of Physical Activity Goals in People Practicing Fitness, Football, Martial Arts and Wheelchair Rugby

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 2;19(17):11004. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191711004.

Authors: Katarzyna Kotarska, Celina Timoszyk-Tomczak, Leonard Nowak, Katarzyna Sygit, Izabela Gąska, Maria Alicja Nowak 

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Summary: The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between self-assessment of physical fitness and health, and the motivational role of physical activity goals in people, depending on their sports discipline. The study included 470 men and 218 women, aged 18-45, from western and southern Poland. The respondents practiced sports recreationally (fitness-F), competitively (football-FB, martial arts-MA), and for rehabilitation and sports purposes (wheelchair rugby-R). The standardized questionnaire for the motivational role of physical activity goals (Inventory of Physical Activity Objectives, IPAO) by Lipowski and Zaleski and the authors' questionnaire on lifestyle were used. In the statistical analyses, non-parametric statistics were used. Individuals with very high and high self-assessment of their physical fitness and very good self-assessment of health achieved higher scores on the motivational value scale, time management, motivational conflict and multidimensionality of physical activity goals (p &lt; 0.05). Respondents who assessed their health as very good achieved lower results on the perseverance scale, compared to those who assessed their health as good or poor. Self-assessment of physical fitness had a positive, high and moderate correlation with the self-assessment of health in people practicing wheelchair rugby, fitness, football and martial arts (r = 0.61; r = 0.52; r = 0.41; r = 0.40, respectively). Correlations were found between the motivational role and time management in people practicing fitness (r = 0.81), football (r = 0.66) and martial arts (r = 0.45), and multidimensionality of goals in those practicing fitness (r = 0.65) and martial arts (r = 0.42) Wheelchair rugby players scored the highest on all KCAF scales (except for motivational conflict). Self-assessment of physical fitness of wheelchair rugby players and fitness practitioners was negatively correlated with time management (r = -0.68; r = -0.49), multidimensionality of goals (r = -0.51; r = -0.49) and motivational values (r = -0.43; r = -0.43). The demonstrated relationships indicated that there was a need to strengthen the self-esteem and motivation for physical activity, promoting perseverance, the ability to focus on the implementation of one's goals and prioritizing the goals among people practicing various sports disciplines.



#14 Association between Fitness Level and Physical Match Demands of Professional Female Football Referees

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 28;19(17):10720. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191710720.

Authors: María Luisa Martín Sánchez, José M Oliva-Lozano, Jorge García-Unanue, Peter Krustrup, Jose Luis Felipe, Víctor Moreno-Pérez, Leonor Gallardo, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez

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Summary: The aim of this study was to examine the physical demands for elite female referees during competitive matches and to evaluate the relationship between match performance and fitness levels. Seventeen female elite field referees were fitness-tested (29.0 ± 5.2 (SD) years, 163.8 ± 6.7 cm, 54.0 ± 5.1 kg, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YYIR1) performance 1610 ± 319 m) and were analysed during a total of 187 football matches. Global positioning systems (GPS) were used in this research. The physical demands were significantly lower (p &lt; 0.05) in the second half of matches compared to the first half. Regarding the acceleration-related variables, the female referees revealed a higher number of high-intensity actions in the first half compared to the second half. However, higher low-intensity demands were observed for the females referees in the second half compared to the first half in the total number of accelerations (ACC) (~70.48 n; ES = 0.61; p &lt; 0.05) and decelerations (DEC) (~71.11 n; ES = 0.62; p &lt; 0.05); total number of ACC in zone 1 (~85.27 n; ES = 0.70; p &lt; 0.05) and DEC in zone 1 (Z1) (~83.98 n; ES = 0.71; p &lt; 0.05); and distance covered accelerating and decelerating in Z1. The distance covered in YYIR1 and the performance in the repeated sprint ability test correlated with the physical demands during matches for female football referees (p &lt; 0.05). In conclusion, this study described the physical performance profile of female football referees and differences between the first and second halves of matches were observed. The results of this study revealed positive correlations between intermittent exercise fitness levels, the repeated sprint ability performance and match performance in female football referees, and thus this information can be implemented in their training plan designs.



#15 Adaptation to stress in football athletes: The importance of cognitive appraisal

Reference: Front Psychol. 2022 Aug 24;13:939840. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.939840. eCollection 2022.

Authors: A Rui Gomes, Clara Simães, Catarina Morais, Ricardo Cunha

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Summary: This study analysed the adaptation of football athletes to competitive stressors regarding the upcoming match. For that, the study adopted a cross-sectional methodology using a critical incident approach. The participants were 352 young male football athletes, aged between 15 and 19 years (M = 16.91, SD = 0.99), who were competing in the national football championship. The results indicated that cognitive appraisal partially mediated the relationship between competitive stressors and emotions: athletes who perceived stressors as a challenge, tended to feel more control over the situation and more resourceful (coping perception), leading to a more positive emotional experience, while those perceiving the stressors as a threat were more prone to experience less control and more negative emotions. This mediation model was moderated by athletes' competitive level (U17 or U19), as the role of challenge perception was more pronounced in the U19 team, while the relationship between threat perception and less control was only observed for the U17 team. In sum, the data reveals the importance of cognitive appraisal in young football athletes' adaptation to competitive stressors, bolstering the theoretical models in this area and the importance of psychologists to consider these variables during intervention, particularly cognitive appraisal.



#16 The impact and experienced barriers menstruation present to football participation in amateur female footballers

Reference: J Sports Sci. 2022 Sep 13;1-14. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2022.2122328. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Cecile J J Pinel, Ritan Mehta, Katrine Okholm Kryger

Summary: This study (1) assessed the impact different stages of the menstrual cycle has on experienced football performance and exercise ability (2) identified the experienced barriers to football participation menstruation presents in amateur women footballers. An online survey was used. The inclusion criteria were non-professional, women currently experiencing regular menstrual cycles, ≥18 years, ≥60 min football/week in the UK. Descriptive statistics were performed on quantitative data and thematic analysis of the open-ended questions. 127 responses were included. Most of the respondents were aged between 18-25 (89%), Caucasian (83%) and competing in Universities Leagues (69%). Menstruation was reported to "never" limit football playing in 17%, "sometimes" in 47%, "rarely" in 25% and "always" in 10% of respondents. The majority (73%) reported one or more barriers menstruation present to football participation. Following thematic analysis, 165 meaning units, 23 themes and seven categories were identified. Confidence and aerobic capacity/endurance were identified to be the aspects most negatively impacted during the pre-menstrual and menstrual stages. Confidence is likely to be negatively impacted due to the barriers identified. Thus, recommendations on how to reduce these through education of players and involved staff, at the club and the FA level have been made.



#17 Investigating the delivery of health improvement interventions through professional football club community trusts-strengths and challenges

Reference: Public Health Pract (Oxf). 2021 Mar 19;2:100104. doi: 10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100104. eCollection 2021 Nov.

Authors: A R Pringle, S Zwolinsky, L Lozano-Sufrategui

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Summary: This study audits health improvement provision delivered in/by English professional Football Club Community Trusts and reports the strengths and challenges around the implementation of interventions. Data were collected through (i) a review of trust websites (n = 72), (ii) an online survey (n = 34/47.2%) and (iii) semi-structured interviews (n = 11/32.3%) with a sub-sample of trust managers. The review of websites confirms all trusts provided physical activity-led interventions. The online survey showed most managers were male (n = 23/67.7%) and white British (n = 30/88.2%). Two thirds held management roles, (n = 23/67.6%) and represented Championship (n = 12/35.2%), League 1 (n = 13/38.2%) and League 2 clubs (n = 9/26.5%). Trusts provided physical activity and most provided diet (n = 31/91.2%) as well as smoking (n = 20/58.8%) and alcohol (n = 19/55.9%) interventions. Weight management, (n = 25/73.5%), mental health interventions (n = 28/82.4%) were offered. Trusts provided male-specific (n = 20/58.8%), with fewer providing female-specific interventions (n = 15/44.1%). Most trusts (n = 30/88.2%) evaluated interventions. 80.8% (n = 21/26) used public health guidance for programme design, 69.2% (n = 18/26) delivery, 57.7% (n = 15/26) needs assessment and 50% (n = 13/26) evaluation. Interviews and qualitative reports identified strengths including, using football, the 'club brand', 'meeting health needs' and 'working as a strategic collaboration with partners'. Challenges included 'short-term funding staffing, mainstreaming, and evaluating interventions'. Football Community Trusts deliver interventions, but challenges were encountered when implementing these programmes.



#18 Motivational predictors of children's involvement in out-of-school activities: An application of a football program

Reference: Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2022 Sep 15. doi: 10.1111/sms.14236. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Esben Elholm Madsen, Peter Krustrup, Tina Hansen, Charlotte Sandager Aggestrup, Nikos Ntoumanis, Carsten Hvid Larsen, Kristina Pfeffer, Andreas Ivarsson, Knud Ryom, Malte Nejst Larsen, Mads Madsen, Jeppe Elholm Madsen, Anne-Marie Elbe

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Summary: The "11 for Health in Denmark" in-school educational football program has shown to have numerous positive physiological and psychological effects in 10- to 12-year-old schoolchildren. A key part of the successful application of the program, however, has not yet been examined, namely the motivational processes underlying participation and behavioral changes. This study examined such motivational processes (i.e., autonomous motivation, beliefs, and intentions) using the trans-contextual model (TCM) and investigated if the 11 for Health in Denmark program increased intentions to participate in physical activity (PA) outside of school in 10- to 12-year-old schoolchildren. Using a web-based questionnaire, Danish-speaking schoolchildren (N = 276 [boys, 50.4%]; Mage = 10.44, SD = 0.35) from three schools and seven classes completed TCM-based questionnaires at three time-points (weeks 0, 1, and 5) while participating in the 11 for Health in Denmark program. Single-indicator structural equation modeling was performed to examine goodness-of-fit and parameter estimates. A path analysis using maximum likelihood estimation was used to test the direct and indirect effects of the TCM model. The results partly supported a mediation sequence, as we found significant direct effects in eight of 13 motivational variables (β = -0.25-0.83, p < 0.05), indirect effects in one of nine variables (β = 0.15, p < 0.01), but no effects with regard to PA behavior. Findings provide evidence for a motivational link between Danish-speaking schoolchildren's autonomous and controlled motivation from in school to out of school, and may inform future interventions promoting motivation and participation in out of school PA.


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