Latest football science research

March 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:

Postmatch recovery practices carried out in professional football: A survey of 56 portuguese professional football teams

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

Postmatch recovery is a key aspect of physical training programmes in football. We know that fatigue can last up to 72 hours after matches but the next training stimulus or match often takes place within this time period. Accelerating recovery is therefore vital. This study described the postmatch recovery practices in Portuguese professional football teams. An interesting finding was that the recovery practices differed between home and away matches. Stretching, active recovery, cold-water immersion and massage were used more often after home matches, and compression garments were more used after away matches. Appropriate sleep and nutrition are perceived most important. Basics first!

Physical loading in professional soccer players: Implications for contemporary guidelines to encompass carbohydrate periodisation

– Anderson et al. in Journal of Sports Sciences

Nutritional interventions are useful for accelerating recovery. A structured approach towards nutrition is also needed to prepare players for training or match sessions. Based on the “fuel for the work” paradigm, this study provides interesting guidelines for carbohydrate periodisation during the training week. Check also our recent blog in which we discussed the application of nutritional interventions in elite youth football.

Evolution of physical and technical parameters in the Spanish LaLiga 2012-2019

– Lago-Peñas et al. in Science and Medicine in Football

To apply the fuel for the work paradigm, we have to understand the physical demands of football. This study describes the evolution in physical match demands in the Spanish La Liga between 2012 and 2019. The study shows that football is further evolved to an intermittent high-intensity sport as the distance covered at high speed increased significantly during this period. Similar findings were reported by Michael Bush et al. in 2015 based on information from the English Premier League.

The Fitness–Fatigue Model: What’s in the numbers?

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

In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed the formula of the fitness-fatigue model. If you are interested in more detailed insights, we recommend reading this new open access article of Vermeire and colleagues. The authors critically discuss the parameters of the fitness-fatigue model and provide some useful guidelines on how to apply this model in practice.

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

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