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Intensity of real competitive soccer matches and differences among player positions

DOI: 10.5007/1980-0037.2011v13n5p341

Keywords: anaerobic threshold, heart rate, soccer.

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Abstract:

most investigations on soccer match intensity have evaluated friendly, simulated or a small number of games on a recreational basis or including a small number of players. there are no studies investigating real competitive situations including a considerable number of athletes and games or differences among player positions using heart rate as an intensity parameter. the aim of this study was to determine brazilian soccer game intensity (gi) during official competitive matches and to compare gi among different player positions. heart rate (hr) was measured in 26 under-17 (u-17) and 18 under-20 (u-20) soccer players (age 16.38 ± 0.5 and 18.24 ± 0.66 years, respectively) during 14 and 15 official games, respectively. individual maximal heart rate (hrmax) and anaerobic threshold (at) hr were evaluated in field tests. gi defined as %hrmax was monitored considering five intensity zones ranging from 1 = < 70% hrmax to 5 = 95-100% hrmax. mean gi and at intensity were 84.4 ± 5.1 and 86.3 ± 4.0% hrmax for the u-17 category and 84.1 ± 4.1 and 87.0 ± 5.1% hrmax for the u-20 category, respectively. wingbacks (wb) spent more time in zone 5 than forwards (fw) (p<0.05). midfielders (mf) spent more time in zone 3 than all other players and in zone 4 than defenders and fw (p<0.05). mean gi and at intensity were similar. wb performed more maximum effort than fw. mf did not participate as much in maximum effort as did wb and fw.

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