Quantifying the high-speed running and sprinting profiles of elite female soccer players during competitive matches using an Optical Player Tracking System

Jocelyn K Mara, Kevin G Thompson, Kate L Pumpa, Stuart Morgan
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2016 September 6
The aim of this study was to determine the high-speed running and sprinting profiles of elite female soccer players during competitive matches using a new Optical Player Tracking System. Eight stationary video cameras were positioned at vantage points surrounding the soccer field so that when each camera view was combined the entire field could be viewed simultaneously. Following each match, an optical player tracking system detected the coordinates (x,y) of each player for every video frame. Algorithms applied to the x and y coordinates were used to determine activity variables for twelve elite female players across seven competitive matches. Players covered 9,220-10,581 m of total distance, 1,772-2,917 m of high-speed running (3.4-5.3 m·s) distance and 417-850 m of sprinting (>5.4 m·s) distance, with variations between positional groups (p < 0.001, partial η = 0.444-0.488). Similarly, the number of high-speed runs differed between positional groups (p = 0.002, partial η = 0.342) and a large proportion of high-speed runs (81-84 %) and sprints (71-78 %) were performed over distances less than 10 m. Mean time between high-speed runs (13.9 s ± 4.4) and sprints (86.5 s ± 38.0) varied according to playing position (p < 0.001, partial η = 0.409) and time period of the match (p < 0.001, partial η = 0.113 - 0.310). The results of this study can be used to design match-specific conditioning drills, and shows that coaches should take an individualised approach to training load monitoring according to position.

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