This study aimed to assess the impact of a psychosocial development program on academy soccer players with coaches being central design and delivery. The 8 Pillars program (designed to foster Communication, Control, Commitment, Confidence, Concentration, Resilience, Presence, and Self-awareness) was delivered through player workshops, coaching practice, and coach-led environmental manipulation. A total of 25 academy soccer players (M age 14.7 ± 0.3) completed the Psychological Characteristics of Development Excellence Questionnaire-2 pre- and postseason, and a self-report scale for each of the eight prescribed psychosocial skills and characteristics at five time points across the season. Significant (p < .05) improvement between pre- and postseason for “Imagery and Active Preparation,” “Seeking and Using Social Support,” and “Active Coping” factors within the Psychological Characteristics of Development Excellence Questionnaire-2 were evident. Significant (p < .05) improvements were shown for “Communication,” “Control,” “Commitment,” “Concentration,” and “Resilience” scales across the season. These findings give initial efficacy that a targeted, multifaceted program, largely delivered by coaches, can improve player self-reported psychosocial skills and characteristics in a U.K. academy soccer setting.
Integrating Psychosocial Skill and Characteristic Development Into an English Academy Soccer Coaching Program: A Preliminary Investigation
Tom O. Mitchell, Ian H.J. Cowburn, Dave B. Alder, Kevin Till, Martin A. Littlewood, Tony Cook, and David Piggott
Physical Activity Patterns Within Dementia Care Dyads
Nicolas Farina, Ríona McArdle, Ruth G. Lowry, and Sube Banerjee
Previous research has explored the physical activity habits of people with dementia and their family carers separately, with little consideration of how physical habits are associated within dyads. In this observational study, we sought to explore the relationship between people with dementia and their carers’ physical activity, at a group level and at a dyadic level. Twenty-six participant dyads (persons with dementia and their carer spouses) were asked to wear an accelerometer for 30 days continuously. Comparisons were made at a group level and a dyadic level. People with dementia did not participate in significantly more moderate to vigorous physical activity (M = 15.44 min/day; SD = 14.40) compared with carers (M = 17.95 min/day; SD = 17.01). Within dyads, there were moderately strong associations between daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (r = .48–.54), but not with overall activity levels (r = .24). Despite physical activity habits remaining relatively low within people with dementia and carers, respectively, moderate to vigorous physical activity levels appear to be correlated within dyads. Understanding mutual influence on physical activity levels within dyads is an important pathway to promote an active lifestyle.
The Quantification of Physical Performance and Internal Training Load in Youth Male Soccer Players During Preseason
Diogo V. Martinho, André Rebelo, Adam Field, Alex S. Ribeiro, Filipa Pereira, Bruno Bizarro, João Ribeiro, Silvano M. Len, Élvio R. Gouveia, and Hugo Sarmento
Purpose: The monitoring of training loads and quantification of physical performance are common practices in youth soccer academies to support coaches in prescribing and programming training for individuals. The interaction between training load and physical performance is unknown during a preseason period in youth soccer players. The current study assessed changes in training load and physical assessments across a 4-week preseason period. The relationship between physical performance and match playing time in youth male soccer players was also investigated. Methods: The training loads of 25 professional youth academy male soccer players were monitored throughout a 4-week preseason period. Assessments of power, agility, speed, and aerobic capacity were undertaken in the first training session. Session ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE) and well-being questionnaires were collected during all training sessions and preseason matches. Playing time during subsequent competitive matches was recorded. Results: T test and 30-m-sprint assessments, conducted on the first day of preseason, were predictors of sRPE throughout preseason (t test χ2/df = 2.895, poor adjustment; 30-m sprint χ2/df = 1.608, good adjustment). YoYo Test performance was related with changes in perceived fatigue (χ2/df = 0.534, very good adjustment). Faster players reported higher values of sRPE, and players with higher aerobic capacity reported higher levels of fatigue across preseason. Well-being, perceived fatigue and soreness, and sRPE decreased across preseason. Greater match durations were related to higher levels of fatigue during preseason (P < .05). Conclusion: The current study highlights the relationship between training load, physical assessments, and playing time. Coaches and practitioners can use physical test data at the start of preseason as an indication of players that report higher sRPE, perceived fatigue, and reduced well-being across preseason, supporting decisions around individualized training prescriptions.