Seasonal Training Load and Wellness Monitoring in a Professional Soccer Goalkeeper

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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The purpose of this investigation was to (1) quantify the training load practices of a professional soccer goalkeeper and (2) investigate the relationship between the training load observed and the subsequent self-reported wellness response. One male goalkeeper playing for a team in the top league of the Netherlands participated in this case study. Training load data were collected across a full season using a global positioning system device and session-RPE (rating of perceived exertion). Data were assessed in relation to the number of days to a match (MD− and MD+). In addition, self-reported wellness response was assessed using a questionnaire. Duration, total distance, average speed, PlayerLoad™, and load (derived from session-RPE) were highest on MD. The lowest values for duration, total distance, and PlayerLoad™ were observed on MD−1 and MD+1. Total wellness scores were highest on MD and MD−3 and were lowest on MD+1 and MD−4. Small to moderate correlations between training load measures (duration, total distance covered, high deceleration efforts, and load) and the self-reported wellness response scores were found. This exploratory case study provides novel data about the physical load undertaken by a goalkeeper during 1 competitive season. The data suggest that there are small to moderate relationships between training load indicators and self-reported wellness response. This weak relation indicates that the association is not meaningful. This may be due to the lack of position-specific training load parameters that practitioners can currently measure in the applied context.

Malone is with the School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Jaspers and Helsen are with the Research Group for Movement Control and Neuroplasticity,  Dept of Kinesiology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Merks, Frencken, and Brink are with the Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. Frencken is also with Football Club Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Malone (malonej2@hope.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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