Seasonal variation in objectively assessed physical activity among young Norwegian talented soccer players: A description of daily physical activity level
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014, 13 (4), 964-968.
‘Practise makes perfect’ is a well-known expression in most sports, including top-level soccer. However, a high training and match load increases the risk for injury, overtraining and burnout. With the use of accelerometers and a self-report questionnaire, the aim of this study was to describe talented players’ physical activity (PA) level. Data were collected three times during the 2011 Norwegian Football season (March, June and October). The accelerometer output, counts·min–1 (counts per unit time registered), reports the daily PA-level for young talented soccer players. Results showed a stable PA-level across the season (March: 901.2 counts·min–1, June: 854.9 counts·min–1, October: 861.5 counts·min–1). Furthermore, comparison of five different training sessions across the season showed that the PA-level ranged from 2435.8 to 3745.4 counts·min–1. A one-way ANOVA showed no significant differences between the three measured weeks during the soccer season (p≤0.814). However, the training sessions in January had a significantly higher PA-level than those in June and October (p≤0.001). Based on these results, we discuss how potential implications of PA-level affect factors such as risk of injury, overtraining and burnout. We argue that player development must be seen as part of an overall picture in which club training and match load should be regarded as one of many variables influencing players’ PA-level.