The acceleration and deceleration profiles of elite female soccer players during competitive matches

Jocelyn K Mara, Kevin G Thompson, Kate L Pumpa, Stuart Morgan
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 2017, 20 (9): 867-872

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the acceleration (≥2ms-2 ) and deceleration (≤-2ms-2 ) profiles of elite female soccer players during competitive matches.

DESIGN: Single cohort, observational study.

METHODS: An Optical Player Tracking system was used to determine acceleration (≥2ms-2 ) and deceleration (≤-2ms-2 ) variables for twelve elite female players across seven competitive matches.

RESULTS: In total, players performed 423 (±126) accelerations and 430 (±125) decelerations per match. It was shown that the number of accelerations (p=0.003-0.034, partial η2 =0.229-321) and decelerations (p=0.012-0.031, partial η2 =0.233-275) at different intensities (based on the start and final velocity) varied according to player position. Mean and maximum distance per effort was 1-4m and 2-8m, respectively, and differed between each intensity category (p<0.001, partial η2 =0.753-0.908). The mean time between efforts was 14s for both accelerations (±5s) and decelerations (±4s) and fluctuated between 15min time periods (p<0.001, partial η2 =0.148-0.206).

CONCLUSIONS: The acceleration and deceleration profiles varied according to player position and time period of the match. The results of this study can be used to design match-specific acceleration and deceleration drills to enhance change of speed ability.

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