The Occurrence of Repeated High Acceleration Ability (RHAA) in Elite Youth Football

Serpiello FR, Duthie GM, Moran C, Kovacevic D, Selimi E, Varley MC

The aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of Repeated High-Acceleration Ability (RHAA) bouts in elite youth football games using 10-Hz GPS devices and two relative thresholds derived from players’ actual maximal acceleration.

Thirty-six outfield soccer players (age 14.9 ± 0.6 years) participated in the study. Players wore 10-Hz GPS units during 41 official games. High accelerations were defined as efforts commencing above a threshold corresponding to 70% (T70%) or 80% (T80%) of the average 5-m acceleration obtained during a 40-m sprint test; RHAA bouts were defined as ≥ 3 efforts with ≤ 45s recovery between efforts.

Results were analyzed via generalized linear mixed model and magnitude-based inferential statistics. On average, 8.0 ± 4.6 and 5.1 ± 3.5 bouts were detected in an entire game using T70% and T80%, respectively. When all positions were analyzed together, there was a very likely small difference in the number of RHAA bouts between the first and second half for T70% and T80%, respectively.

RHAA bouts occur frequently in elite youth football, with small differences between halves and between playing positions within the first or second half in most variables assessed.

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