Wellbeing perception and the impact on external training output among elite soccer players



      The objective of the investigation was to observe the impact of player wellbeing on the training output of elite soccer players.


      Prospective cohort design.


      Forty-eight soccer players (age: 25.3 ± 3.1 years; height: 183 ± 7 cm; mass: 72 ± 7 kg) were involved in this single season observational study across two teams. Each morning, pre-training, players completed customised perceived wellbeing questionnaires. Global positioning technology devices were used to measure external load (total distance, total high-speed running distance, high speed running, player load, player load slow, maximal velocity, maximal velocity exposures). Players reported ratings of perceived exertion using the modified Borg CR-10 scale. Integrated training load ratios were also analysed for total distance:RPE, total high speed distance:RPE player load:RPE and player load slow:RPE respectively.


      Mixed-effect linear models revealed significant effects of wellbeing Z-score on external and integrated training load measures. A wellbeing Z-score of −1 corresponded to a −18 ± 2 m (−3.5 ± 1.1%), 4 ± 1 m (−4.9 ± 2.1%,) 0.9 ± 0.1 km h−1 (−3.1 ± 2.1%), 1 ± 1 (−4.6 ± 2.9%), 25 ± 3 AU (−4.9 ± 3.1%) and 11 ± 0.5 AU (−8.9 ± 2.9%) reduction in total high speed distance, high speed distance, maximal velocity, maximal velocity exposures, player load and player load slow respectively. A reduction in wellbeing impacted external:internal training load ratios and resulted in −0.49 ± 0.12 m min−1, −1.20 ± 0.08 m min−1,−0.02 ± 0.01 AU min−1 in total distance:RPE, total high speed distance:RPE and player load slow:RPE respectively.


      The results suggest that systematic monitoring of player wellbeing within soccer cohorts can provide coaches with information about the training output that can be expected from individual players during a training session.


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