Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science, Kinesiology - Exercise Science Concentration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Jessica Mutchler

Committee Member 1

Samuel Wilson

Committee Member 2

Barry Joyner

Committee Member 3

Stephen Rossi

Committee Member 3 Email

srossi@georgiasouthern.edu

Abstract

Soccer has an incredibly complex movement profile. Players experience various types of strains on their body from the requirement to land in awkward positions while maintaining the ability to quickly accelerate and decelerate. Dorsiflexion range of motion (DFROM) is of concern due to the movement profile and ball control that requires constant eccentric and concentric actions at the talocrural joint. With an American soccer season spanning across nine months these demands can contribute to overuse, which has been linked to restricted range of motion. Restricted DFROM and asymmetries have been identified as injury predictors, but their relationship to performance has little insight. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate how DFROM, training load metrics, and performance metrics change throughout a season in elite soccer players, and to evaluate the relationships between DFROM, external training load metrics, and performance metrics. Fifteen professional male soccer players (Center backs = 3, Outside backs = 2, Center Midfielders = 4, Wingers = 3, and Forwards = 3) from an American league-based team participated in the study. Participants completed DFROM measurements at preseason, midseason, and postseason time points using the weight bearing lunge test (WBLT). GPS technology was used through STATSport systems with each GPS operating on a 10 Hertz frequency. GPS metrics were quantified for each participant at preseason, midseason, and lateseason time points through an averaging calculation process. Metrics included average top speed in kilometers per hours (ATS), average metabolic power in watts per kilogram per second (AMP), average total distance per session in kilometers (ATD), average high intensity accelerations per session (AHIA), and average high intensity deceleration per session (AHID). Separate one-way repeated measures ANOVAs were used to determine main effects for all measures across the three time points. There were significant main effects for AMP (p=0.041), ATD (p=0.003), AHIA (p<0.001), and AHID (p<0.001). Proper load management may have reduced the training effects observed in previous studies on changes to DFROM and performance measures. However, clinically significant changes to DFROM were captured and support the monitoring of this measure throughout a soccer season.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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