Silvio Polly da Costa Valladao, Julia Phillips, Thomas Andre. University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.

BACKGROUND: In collegiate soccer, information regarding players’ readiness may aid coaching in regards to tactical decisions and athlete playing time. In sport, countermovement jumps (CMJ) offer a potential quantitative modality to assess player readiness. The purpose of this study was to assess the within-subjects’ correlation of matchday CMJ height and match internal and external loads in NCAA Division I women’s soccer athletes. The authors hypothesized that matchday CMJ height would show positive moderate correlations with match workload variables. METHODS: A total of 10 female soccer players (20 ± 1.3 years; 1.72 ± 0.06 m), which started at least 3 matches during the 2020 8-match competitive season, participated in this study. Repeated measures correlations were used to determine the within-subjects’ correlations of matchday CMJ height and total distance covered (TD), training load score (TLS), number of sprints (Sprints), distanced covered at high-speed (< 15.0 km/h; HSD), and mechanical load (ML). ML was calculated as the sum of the accelerations above 2 m.s² and decelerations below -2 m.s². Alpha was set a priori at p ≤ 0.05 and the data was analyzed using R Studio executing R. RESULTS: A moderate positive significant correlation between CMJ height and ML was observed (p < 0.001; r = 0.402, 95% CI = 0.099, 0.637). The correlations between CMJ height and the other internal and external load training load variables were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). CMJ height showed very weak to weak nonsignificant relationships with TD (r = 0.138, p = 0.386, 95% CI = -0.185, 0.435), TLS (r = 0.051, p = 0.749, 95% CI = -0.268, 0.361), Sprints (r = 0.226, p = 0.154, 95% CI = -0.096, 0.506), and HSD (r = 0.069, p = 0.664, 95% CI = -0.251, 0.377). CONCLUSIONS: In-match ML is positively correlated with matchday CMJ height within the current investigation. These results suggest that CMJ can potentially measure pre-match neuromuscular status and athletes’ readiness. This may potentially influence the athletes’ ability to perform high-intensity accelerations and decelerations during NCAA DI women’s soccer matches.

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