Fatigue experiences in competitive soccer: Development during matches and the impact of general performance capacity
Number of pages
SourceFatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, 5, 4, (2017), pp. 191-201
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Background: Fatigue as a result of prolonged activity may increase injury risk and decrease performance.Purpose: To provide insight in the development of fatigue experiences during soccer matches and the extent to which general performance capacity (i.e. overall physical fitness, psychological fitness, and recovery) contributes to these fatigue experiences. Methods: 450 Soccer players from the highest divisions in the Netherlands completed a questionnaire to assess (a) fatigue experiences (feeling tired, physically exhausted, not fit, weak, and mentally exhausted: not at all  - very much ) during a typical match; and (b) subjective indices of general performance capacity (i.e. general capacity to handle workload). Results: On average, fatigue levels were reported to be moderate. Fatigue increased primarily during the second half of the match and only a small decrease in fatigue was observed during half time. Generally, higher intensity fatigue experiences were reported by attackers than defenders. Regression analyses showed that players? general performance capacity explained a substantial part of fatigue at the start of a match and also predicted the development of fatigue experiences during a match, with low performance capacity being associated with higher baseline levels of fatigue and a steeper increase in fatigue over time. Conclusions: The observed association between players' general performance capacity and their fatigue levels during matches suggests that periodic screening of general performance capacity can be informative with regard to the employability of players across different stages of match-play and as such, aid in reducing injury risk and increasing performance.
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