Join Catapult’s Ross Goodall as he talks through how teams approach weekly periodisation in association football, Soccer.

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So the question I’ll be answering today is; “How

much shall I load my players and when?”

The periodized week should be planned around how coaches

are wanting to structure their training weeks, when players

are in and when they’re off recovering.

It’s the role of a sports scientist to

balance exposing players to enough training load to

increase their fitness while at the same time

being careful not to overload players.

The values I’m about to talk through are

shown as an approximate percentage of match loads.

The first model is the Traditional Model.

This is a model in a typical one game

week schedule and gives players two days off.

This model prioritizes freshness in the

lead up to the match day.

However, this may not provide enough recovery time.

Research suggests players should have at least

48 hours post-match date for recovery.

Athletes will also only have

one conditioning day per week.

Model number two is the European Model.

This is a model which has been

adopted by Rafa Benitez in the past.

Players are back in on match day plus one (MD+1) for

active recovery and squad players will receive top up sessions.

Match day plus two (MD+2) will then be a rest day.

This model generally prioritizes recovery.

There are long lead times into games

with one day dedicated to conditioning.

Model number three is the Tactical Model.

The Tactical Model has been used by Jose

Mourinho and his staff in a very immersive

approach to where there are no days off.

This affords the coaches two days of conditioning,

one dedicated to small spaces with lots of

Accels and Decels and one with larger

spaces with more high speed running.

Lastly, we have the Adapted Tactical Model which

has been used by Pochettino in the past.

This is similar to the Tactical approach,

but swaps the extensive and intensive days

around and instead incorporates a friendly game.

This is used to simulate two day game weeks, but

once again there’s little to no time off with family.

Thanks for listening, I hope you found that useful.

Continue to check in with the Unleash

platform for more content like this.

Join Catapult’s Connor Howley as he talks through how long it takes soccer players to recover after matches.

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Hi, my name is Connor Howley and I’m a

product support technician here at Catapult who is going

to take you through a query surrounding football recovery.

So we’ve got a question here from one

of our users, which is; How long does

it take players to recover post match?

So Silva et al in 2018 conducted a systematic

review looking at the effect size of performance

markers at different intervals, which were during an

dematches, and they compared these against baseline measures.

They found a large effect size looking

at creatine kinase and delayed onset muscle

soreness 24 hours post-match.

They also found moderate effect sizes when looking

at hamstring strength and counter movement jump height

48 hours post-match, there was still a moderate

effect on hamstring strength, creatine kinase and delayed

onset muscle soreness, and also small effect sizes

were seen in quadricep strength, linear sprint performance

and countermovement jump performance.

72 hours postmatch, there was still a

moderate effect size in hamstring strength and

countermovement jump performance, while the remaining

performance markers showed as small or trivial.

As Silva et al. states

while some parameters are fully recovered,

a 72 hours period is still not

long enough for complete homeostasis.

Generally in sports like association football, it is unlikely

that players will ever receive this long to recover

before preparation for the next game starts.

As such, coaches must adjust structure and content

of sessions in a 72 hours window to

respect recovery while ramping towards conditioning sessions.

Thanks for listening, I hope you found that

useful and please continue to check in with

the Unleash platform for more content like this.

I’ll see you next time.

Join Catapult’s Alex Lowthorpe as he talks through why top up sessions are required for soccer player and when they can be delivered.

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So, we have a question here from one of our users.

Do I need to give extra work to the players

who didn’t play the match and if so, when?

Before we dive into the answers, let’s

look at some of the research.

Anderson et al.

Looked at squad status and the implications

for physical load throughout the season.

He defined starters as those who started greater than

60% of games, fringe players as those who started

30% to 60% of games, and non-starters as those

who started less than 30% of the games.

Looking at the differences between starters and

non-starters across training and matches, he found

the effect size was very large across

running high speed running and sprinting intensities.

When looking at running intensity, starters covered

approximately 92 km per season compared to 58 km for non-starters.

For high speed running, starters covered approximately

35 km per season compared to 19 km for non-starters and

for sprinting, starters covered approximately 11 km per season

compared to 3 km for non-starters.

When comparing starters versus fringe players, the same

very large effect size was apparent in sprinting.

Starting players completed approximately 11 km compared

to fringe players who completed approximately 5 km of

sprinting distance per season, indicating that unlike

total seasonal volume of training, I. E.

Total distance and duration, seasonal high

intensity loading patterns are dependent upon

players match starting status.

Therefore, there is a requirement to address this through

training exposure. To answer the first part of the

question, do I need to give extra work to

the players who didn’t play the match?

The answer is yes, but when?

Well, if we look at a typical week,

we have three opportunities before the next team

conditioning session, the first one being match day.

After the game.

It is not uncommon to see substitutes and

players who did not enter onto the pitch

receive high speed and sprinting top ups.

This is often preferred by players and staff as their

schedules match with days off at the same time.

The next option is to split it over

match day and match day plus one (MD+1).

However, this means players have no days off.

Alternatively, another option is for these players to complete

their extra work on match day plus one (MD+1).

However, this doesn’t give the players the best

chance to recover and perform at their best

during training on a match day plus two (MD+2).

Thank you for listening.

I hope you found that useful.

Join Catapult’s Sophie Goves as she talks through what the research suggests for senior and junior female soccer players.

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We’ve got a question here from one

of our users working in Women’s football.

They’ve asked which value should I set

as my speed and velocity thresholds?

Let’s jump into it.

Before you decide which thresholds to use,

you need to understand whether you use

absolute or relative bands in zones.

Absolute bands are used with

more of a performance outlook.

Relative bands are more often than not

used as part of development outlook.

If we look at absolute values, the best place

to start is probably what is used by the

governing body in 2019 FIFA Women’s World cup.

They used the following thresholds to determine walking,

jogging, running, high speed running and sprinting.

The values in bold feature in

the report and the research here.

We’ve also converted these into other units for you.

Research by Strauss and Lopez Fernandez both use more

bands with smaller increments denoting high speed, running at

4.3 to 5.6 and 4.4 to 5 meters/second and

sprinting as above 5.6 and above 5 meters/second respectively.

If you’re working with junior cohort, the

thresholds may need to be adapted.

Research by Harkness, Armstrong, Till, Datson and Emmons

reduced the number of bands to four.

If you’re wanting to use relative velocity bands in

speed zones, this can either be done by looking

at percentages of max velocity and speed, or by

using percentages of MAS and ASR.

MAS stands for maximum aerobic speed and is

strongly correlated with minimum speed at VO2

max ASR stands for anaerobic speed reserve.

This is estimated using maximum sprint speed.

The benefit of this is to understand

which energy systems the athlete is utilizing

during training sessions and matches.

The paper by Abbott et al. will be linked below

the video to detail how these can be calculated.

Thanks for listening. I hope you found that useful.

Please continue to check in with the

Unleash platform for more content like this.

I’ll see you next time.

Join Catapult’s Kyle Stobbs as he talks through how to use Catapult technologies to mitigate the risk of injury.

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Hello everyone, we’ve got a question here.

One of our users asking; how can

I use my devices for injury prevention?

Although we don’t claim to prevent injuries, we

can provide some insight into some ways to

mitigate avoidable injuries such as muscle strains.

So let’s jump right into it.

The big question we get from our users

and how we can do this is by

using the application of loading concepts like this

training stress balance involving the acute chronic workload

ratio and the application of field screening drills.

So in this original concept, Hulin and

colleagues came up with the original training

stress balance concept using cricket fastbowlers.

The concept recommends avoidance of spikes in training

load over an average load between a 7

day period and a 28 day period.

The 7 day period is the acute load.

The 28 day period is the chronic load.

As the ratio of these two variables increase, the

likelihood of injury also increases, which is what we

see in the graph on the right here.

And the acute chronic workload ratio works best on

the variables such as total distance or high speed

distance as a measure of locomotive load, PlayerLoad

as a measure of mechanical load, and heart rate

exertion as a measure of an internal load.

This is a case study showing the soccer

player’s data leading up to a hamstring injury.

Here the user is using PlayerLoad.

Chronic load was displayed on the area line

and acute load is displayed as the bar.

And as you can see there is jumps and

spikes leading up to 1.4, which is out of

the sweet spot shown on the previous slide.

Now for Vector Core Plus and Vector Pro users,

they can utilize the acute chronic widget within OpenField.

Now some considerations if you’re interested in

applying the training stress balance concept, you

need to be mindful of these.

The concerns about the validity of the mathematical

calculation used for the acute period using both

seven day and a 28 day calculations.

If you’re interested in looking more into this, then

I suggest you look at the ‘Un-Coupled’ approach.

You may also be interested in look at the

exponentially weighted model which adapts the original concept by

adding a decaying effect so it places extra emphasis

on the sessions closer to the present day.

Lastly, and most importantly, it doesn’t take into

account individual differences, so it assumes that everyone

reacts the same way to the external stimuli.

So screening drills are the second approach

which I outlined at the beginning.

Using fingerprint drills are a way of testing

our players outside of a lab environment.

To implement these into monitoring practice, you can either

ask a coach to incorporate them into the session

plan or use an existing activity which already takes

place, such as lapse around the pitch.

Ideally, this should be performed at the beginning

of the session to adapt load for individuals

for the remainder of the session if needed.

Once these drills have been performed, you can

tag these in your respective Catapult system.

You will be able to generate norms and

benchmarks for each player to compare against.

System permitting though, try and look at the live

data and promote conversation with players to adapt individual

loading. The reason we use PlayerLoad as

an inferred measure of fatigue is based on the

research of Akenhead and colleagues.

When conducting a repeated sprint protocol, they saw

decreased sprint performance, which is an increase in

sprint time, came with a decrease in player

load caused by decreased vertical stiffness as well

as increased ground contact time.

Such changes can also be observed

in the fingerprint drill data once

normal player load values were established.

If users have access to heart rate data,

they should also look at the internal measure

of load and using heart rate exertion.

This can also be shown as a ratio by

dividing by total distance or player load, higher values will

denote a great internal cost to the athletes per

meter or per player load unit, respectively.

Finally, running symmetry is also a powerful tool for

injury mitigation as well as return to play.

Running symmetry in OpenField is a measure of load

imbalance between left and right leg when running.

However, this is only available for Vector

Core Plus and Vector pro clients.

It’s important to note that players will rarely

have a perfect balance between left and right

foot, so we should look to build norms

for each athlete using a consistent protocol.

Once we have these references, we can look

at differences compared to the norm and

consider standard deviation in a running series.

So thanks for listening.

I hope you found that useful.

Please continue to check in with the

Unleash platform for more content like this.

I’ll see you next time. Bye.