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Tim J. Gabbett, Håvard Wiig and Matt Spencer

Background:

To the authors’ knowledge, no study has investigated the concurrent repeated, high-intensity (RHIA) and repeated-sprint activity (RSA) of intermittent team-sport competition.

Purpose:

In this study, they report on the RSA of elite women’s football competition. In addition, they describe the nature of RHIA (eg, striding and sprinting activities) that involve a high energy cost and are associated with short (ie, ≤20 s) recovery periods.

Methods:

Thirteen elite women soccer players underwent video-based time–motion analysis on 34 occasions during national and international standard matches. RSA and RHIA were defined as successive (ie, 2) sprints or striding and sprinting efforts that occurred with ≤20 s between efforts.

Results:

The number of RSA and RHIA bouts performed was similar between the first and second halves of matches. Sprinting and striding/sprinting durations tended to remain relatively stable irrespective of the number of efforts in an RSA or RHIA bout or the period of play. However, recovery duration between efforts increased in the second half, when a greater number of efforts were performed per bout.

Conclusion:

These findings suggest that first- to second-half reductions in RHIA and RSA do not occur in elite women’s soccer competition. However, players increase the amount of low-intensity recovery undertaken between RHIA and RSA efforts, most likely in an attempt to maintain RHIA and RSA performance. These findings emphasize the importance of RSA and RHIA to elite women’s soccer and highlight the importance of training this quality to prevent reductions in performance during competitive match play.

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Thomas A. Haugen, Felix Breitschädel, Håvard Wiig and Stephen Seiler

Purpose: To quantify possible differences in countermovement jump height across sport disciplines and sex in national-team athletes. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 588 women (23 [5] y, 66 [8] kg) and 989 men (23 [5] y, 82 [12] kg) from 44 different sport disciplines (including 299 medalists from European Championships, World Championships, and/or Olympic Games) tested a countermovement jump on a force platform at the Norwegian Olympic Training Center between 1995 and 2018. Results: Athletic sprinting showed the highest values among the men (62.7 [4.8] cm) and women (48.4 [6.0] cm), clearly ahead of the long jump/triple jump (mean difference ± 90% CL: 6.5 ± 5.0 and 4.3  ± 4.1; very likely and likely; moderate) and speed skating sprint (11.4 ± 3.1 and 7.5 ± 5.5 cm; most likely and very likely; very large and moderate). These horizontally oriented sports displayed superior results compared with more vertically oriented and powerful sports such as beach volleyball, weightlifting, and ski jumping, both in men (from 2.9 ± 4.7 to 15.6 ± 2.9 cm; small to very large; possibly to most likely) and women (5.9 ± 4.8 to 13.4 ± 3.4 cm; large to very large; very likely to most likely), while endurance sports and precision sports were at the other end of the scale. Overall, the men jumped 33% higher than the women (10.3, ±0.6 cm; most likely; large). Conclusions: This study provides practitioners and scientists with useful information regarding the variation in countermovement jump height among national-team athletes within and across sport disciplines.

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Håvard Wiig, Thor Einar Andersen, Live S. Luteberget and Matt Spencer

Purpose: To investigate within-player effect, between-player effect, and individual response of external training load from player tracking devices on session rating of perceived exertion training load (sRPE-TL) in elite football players. Methods: The authors collected sRPE-TL from 18 outfield players in 21 training sessions. Total distance, high-speed running distance (>14.4 m/s), very high-speed running distance (>19.8 m/s), PlayerLoad, PlayerLoad2D, and high-intensity events (HIE > 1.5, HIE > 2.5, and HIE > 3.5 m/s) were extracted from the tracking devices. The authors modeled within-player and between-player effects of single external load variables on sRPE-TL, and multiple levels of variability, using a linear mixed model. The effect of 2 SDs of external load on sRPE-TL was evaluated with magnitude-based inferences. Results: Total distance, PlayerLoad, PlayerLoad2D, and HIE > 1.5 had most likely substantial within-player effects on sRPE-TL (100%–106%, very large effect sizes). Moreover, the authors observed likely substantial between-player effects (12%–19%, small to moderate effect sizes) from the majority of the external load variables and likely to very likely substantial individual responses of PlayerLoad, high-speed running distance, very high-speed running distance, and HIE > 1.5 (19%–30% coefficient of variation, moderate to large effect sizes). Finally, sRPE-TL showed large to very large between-session variability with all external load variables. Conclusions: External load variables with low intensity-thresholds had the strongest relationship with sRPE-TL. Furthermore, the between-player effect of external load and the individual response to external load advocate for monitoring sRPE-TL in addition to external load. Finally, the large between-session variability in sRPE-TL demonstrates that substantial amounts of sRPE-TL in training sessions are not explained by single external load variables.