Latest football science research

February 2022 edition

Team sport practitioners work in a fast-paced environment where rapid innovations are expected to provide competitive benefits. When implementing these new strategies and tools in practice, it is essential to have sound evidence. Practitioners often consider research as a slow and time-consuming process but these days a lot of interesting research is published. Based on one of our key principles, we present our Topsportslab selection of recently published research to support your evidence-based practice:

Resilience in sports: a multidisciplinary, dynamic, and personalized perspective

– Den Hartigh et al. in International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology

This open access article discusses the concept of resilience in sports. The authors view resilience as a dynamic process of bouncing back to normal functioning following stressors. Interestingly, the authors do not only focus on physiological stressors but also on psychological events that may impact players’ readiness to perform. If you are interested in the use of technology or data to detect resilience losses, this article may also provide some interesting insights towards future applications!

Impact of long-haul travel to international competition on sleep and recovery in elite male and female soccer athletes

– Biggins et al. in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

Long-haul travel is increasingly common in elite sports such as football. This study looks at the effect of travel across 7 time zones on perceived sleep and recovery in Irish university players. The study shows that travel negatively affects players’ sleep hygiene, but players show resilience as they recover quickly from the travel-induced psycho-physiological disturbances.

Concurrent validity of a continuous glucose-monitoring system at rest and during and following a high-intensity interval training session

– Clavel et al.  in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

This study compared blood glucose concentrations between a continuous glucose-monitoring system (CGM) and the gold standard method using finger-prick measurements. The registration took place after a carbohydrate- or protein-oriented breakfast, and before, during or after a high-intensity interval training session. The main take-away from this study is that the CGM can be used at rest but not during exercise. When using new tools such as CGM, we advise practitioners to carefully evaluate the reliability and validity of the measurements to understand the potential error in the data collection and the subsequent interpretation. This study is a very good example of how to conduct such analyses.

Set-piece approach for medical teams managing emergencies in sports: introducing the FIFA Poster for Emergency Action Planning (PEAP)

– Patterson et al.  in British Journal of Sports Medicine

We end this overview with a short editorial article about the FIFA PEAP. This poster designed by FIFA shows a standardised protocol for medical teams managing emergencies in sport. The article is open access and a must read for all support staff in football.

We will be back in April with an overview of research published in March!

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