Sustained Passing Performance of Elite and Subelite Female Soccer Players Following a Female Match-Specific Exercise Protocol

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $112.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $149.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $213.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $284.00

Purpose: This study examined the maintenance of passing performance following soccer-specific high-intensity intermittent exercise in elite (n = 9) and subelite (n = 11) Western Australian female soccer players (19.5 [2.5] y). Methods: A total of 20 participants completed the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT) prior to, during, and following 90 minutes of a modified, female-specific, individualized exercise protocol (Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test [LIST]) to simulate 2 halves of a soccer match. Performance in the LSPT was calculated by adding “raw time” to the accumulated “penalty time” for each test. Results: Elite players recorded greater distances (t58 = 4.671, P < .001, effect size [ES] = 1.21) and higher derived VO2max values (t58 = 4.715, P < .001, ES = 1.20) for the LIST exercise protocol over the subelite players. The total performance times for each LSPT were longer in the subelites in comparison with the elites, with a very large ES difference seen in post-LIST1 (t18 = −6.64, P < .001, ES = 2.99) and post-LIST2 (t18 = −9.143, P < .001, ES = 4.12). No between-groups differences were identified for “raw time” at any time point. Hence, all reported LSPT performance differences are attributed to “penalty time.” Conclusion: These data suggest that elite players can sustain their passing performance more efficiently throughout match play that can subelite female soccer players. These findings may contribute to future talent-identification testing by helping to distinguish between elite- and subelite-level players through sustained passing performance. Coaches may also use this information to better inform best-practice training methods through modification of male soccer-specific high-intensity intermittent exercise to a female cohort.

The authors are with the School of Health Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, WA, Australia.

Joyce (chris.joyce@nd.edu.au) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Helgerud J, Engen LC, Wisløff U, Hoff J. Aerobic endurance training improves soccer performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33(11):19251931. PubMed ID: 11689745 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Ingebrigtsen J, Dillern T, Shalfawi SA. Aerobic capacities and anthropometric characteristics of elite female soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(12):33523357. PubMed ID: 22076087 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Giza E, Micheli L. Soccer injuries. Med Sport Sci. 2005;49:140169. PubMed ID: 16247265 doi:

  • 4.

    Hammami MA, Ben Klifa W, Ben Ayed K, et al. Physical performances and anthropometric characteristics of young elite North-African female soccer players compared with international standards. Sci Sports. 2020;35(2):6774. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Datson N, Hulton A, Andersson H, et al. Applied physiology of female soccer: an update. Sports Med. 2014;44(9):12251240. PubMed ID: 24803162 doi:

  • 6.

    Coratella G, Beato M, Schena F. The specificity of the Loughborough intermittent shuttle test for recreational soccer players is independent of their intermittent running ability. Res Sports Med. 2016;24(4):363374. PubMed ID: 27547994 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Nicholas CW, Nuttall FE, Williams C. The Loughborough intermittent shuttle test: a field test that simulates the activity pattern of soccer. J Sports Sci. 2000;18(2):97104. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Russell M, Kingsley M. Influence of exercise on skill proficiency in soccer. Sports Med. 2011;41(7):523539. PubMed ID: 21688867 doi:

  • 9.

    Bradley PS, Dellal A, Mohr M, Castellano J, Wilkie A. Gender differences in match performance characteristics of soccer players competing in the UEFA champions league. Hum Mov Sci. 2014;33:159171. PubMed ID: 24139663 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Lyons M., Al-Nakeeb Y, Nevill A. Performance of soccer passing skills under moderate and high-intensity localized muscle fatigue. J Strength Cond Res. 2006a;20:197202. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Keller BS, Raynor AJ, Bruce L, Iredale F. Technical attributes of Australian youth soccer players: Implications for talent identification. Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2016;11(6):819824. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Ali A, Foskett A, Gant N. Measuring intermittent exercise performance using shuttle running. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(7):601609. PubMed ID: 24117242 doi:

  • 13.

    Maffiuletti NA, Impellizzeri FM, Bizzini M, Castagna C, Rampinini E, Wisløff U. Effects of aerobic training on the exercise-induced decline in short-passing ability in junior soccer players. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008;33(6):11921198. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Rampinini E, Impellizzeri FM, Castagna C, Azzalin A, Bravo DF, Wisløff U. Effect of match-related fatigue on short-passing ability in young soccer players. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(5):934942. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Stone K. The Effect of Prolonged Intermittent High-Intensity Exercise on the Performance of Soccer-Specific Skills [doctoral thesis]. University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK; 2008.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Datson N, Drust B, Weston M, Gregson W. Repeated high-speed running in elite female soccer players during international competition. Sci Med Football. 2019;3(2):150156. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Smith MR, Coutts AJ, Merlini M, Deprez D, Lenoir M, Marcora SM. Mental fatigue impairs soccer-specific physical and technical performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016;48(2):267276. PubMed ID: 26312616 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Joseph J, Woods C, Joyce C. The relationship between repeated kicking performance and maximal aerobic capacity in elite junior Australian football [published online ahead of print August 26, 2017]. J Strength Cond Res. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Lyons M, Al-Nakeeb Y, Nevill A. The impact of moderate and high intensity total body fatigue on passing accuracy in expert and novice basketball players. J Sports Sci Med. 2006b;5:215227 .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Hornery DJ, Farrow D, Mujika I, Young W. Fatigue in tennis: Mechanisms of fatigue and effect on performance. Sports Med. 2007;37(3):199212. PubMed ID: 17326696 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Royal KA, Farrow D, Mujika I, Halson SL, Pyne D, Abernethy B. The effects of fatigue on decision making and shooting skill performance in water polo players. J Sports Sci. 2006;24(8):807815. PubMed ID: 16815774 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Ali A, Gardiner R, Foskett A, Gant N. Fluid balance, thermoregulation and sprint and passing skill performance in female soccer players. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2001;21(3):437445. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Stone KJ, Oliver JL. The effect of 45 minutes of soccer-specific exercise on the performance of soccer skills. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2009;4(2):163175. PubMed ID: 19567920 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Gabryś T, Stec K, Michalski C, Pilis W, Pilis K, Witkowski Z. Diagnostic value of beep and yo-yo tests in assessing physical performance of female soccer players. Biomed Hum Kinet. 2019;11(1):110114. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Ali A, Foskett A, Gant N. Validation of a soccer skill test for use with females. Int J Sports Med. 2008;29(11):917921. PubMed ID: 18512177 doi:

  • 26.

    Cohen J. A power primer. Psychol Bull. 1992;112(1):155159. PubMed ID: 19565683 doi:

  • 27.

    Black GM, Gabbett TJ, Naughton GA, McLean BD. The effect of intense exercise periods on physical and technical performance during elite Australian football match-play: a comparison of experienced and less experienced players. J Sci Med Sport. 2016;19(7):596602. PubMed ID: 26315892 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Yang G, Leicht AS, Lago C, Gómez M. Key team physical and technical performance indicators indicative of team quality in the soccer Chinese super league. Res Sports Med. 2018;26(2):158167. PubMed ID: 29382229 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Lima-Silva AE, De Araujo GG, Andrade-Souza VA, Bishop D, Bertuzzi R. Effects of isolated or combined carbohydrate and caffeine supplementation between 2 daily training sessions on soccer performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015;40(5):457463. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Mujika I, Santisteban J, Impellizzeri FM, Castagna C. Fitness determinants of success in men’s and women’s football. J Sports Sci. 2009;27(2):107114. PubMed ID: 19058090 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 358 358 129
Full Text Views 4 4 1
PDF Downloads 3 3 1