Using Global Positioning System to Compare Training Monotony and Training Strain of Starters and Non-Starters across of Full-Season in Professional Soccer Players
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Soccer is an attractive and popular team sport that has high physiological and fitness stress, and therefore requires special and controlled training programs during the season. The aim of this study was to describe the weekly average and changes in training monotony (TM) and training strain (TS) throughout different periods of the season in professional football players based on the number of accelerations and decelerations, and also to analyze the difference between starters and non-starters players in TM and TS. Nineteen professional players from a soccer team competing in the Iranian Premier League (age, 28 ± 4.6 years; height, 181.6 ± 5.8 cm; body mass, 74.5 ± 5.6 kg, and body mass index, 21.8 ± 1.0 kg/m2) participated in a cohort study. Participants were divided into two groups based on the time of participation in the weekly competition: starters (N = 10) or non-starters (N = 9). The physical activities of the players were recorded during the training sessions and competitive matches of 43 weeks using GPSPORTS systems Pty Ltd. During pre- and end-season TS was not significantly different between starters and non-starters, while during early- and mid-season starters showed a higher TS than non-starter (p < 0.05). TS was higher during early- and mid-season compared to pre- and end-season. In all zones on both the TM and TS variables, non-starters experienced higher change percentages and coefficient of variation. TM during the season in all zones of accelerations was not significantly different between starters and non-starters. while during mid-season starters showed a higher TM than non-starters in all zones of decelerations (p < 0.05). TM data showed fluctuations and w-shaped graphs in the week-by-week survey. These results indicate that training during early- and mid-season is not enough for the physical development of non-starters soccer players. Coaches should be more careful when designing training for non-starters players, and they could consider the use of game simulation, preparatory match or intra-team match, or individual training programs.