Dylan Wright1, Evan Kilby1, Jacob Gdovin2, Charles Williams1. 1University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL. 2Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

BACKGROUND: The law of specificity underlies the importance of strength and conditioning which ensures athletes train to meet the demands of their respective sport. Monitoring tools such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) aid professionals in prescribing individualized and categorized needs-based training loads to improve sport performance while also reducing the risk of injury. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study compared differences between preseason and in-season external workload metrics such as total distance traveled (TDT) and distance traveled within velocity distance bands (VDBs); defined by the manufacturer for collegiate male soccer players: Tier I-1-3 m/s, Tier II-3-5 m/s, Tier III-5-7 m/s, Tier IV-7-9 m/s. METHODS: Twenty-one (age: 19.6±1.2 years, height: 180.7±8.3 cm, mass: 75.6±7.4 kg) collegiate men’s soccer players participated in the current study. Workload data of practices and games were collected during a two-week preseason and ten-week in-season period using a 10Hz Titan 1+ (Integrated Bionics, Houston, Texas, USA - 2”x1.5”x.25”). GPS devices were secured by a jersey resting between the scapulae for every practice and competitive match. The sport coach activated and distributed the devices 15 minutes prior to each participant taking the field and was subsequently turned off following each session to standardized workload data across the competitive period. Paired samples t-tests were used to compare differences in TDT between preseason and in season periods. A 2x4 (Time [preseason, in-season]) X (VDBs [Tier I, II, III, IV]) repeated measures ANOVA with an alpha level of p<0.05 was used for all analyses. Participants were removed from the analysis if they participated in <75% of the total number of training sessions or matches (n=2) RESULTS: Significant differences (p<.001) were observed between preseason TDT (19285.4±6419.6m) compared to in-season TDT (25714.3±6716.8m). Significant main effect differences (p<.001) were seen in pre-season VBDs (Tier I: 1189.9±3856.7m, Tier II: 3294.5±1903m, Tier III: 572.2±419m, Tier IV: 63.9±63.1m) when compared to in-season VBDs (Tier I: 14840.7±3977.8m, Tier II: 4545.2±2323.8m, Tier III: 798.1±485.2m, Tier IV:73±69.7m). CONCLUSION: Coaches can utilize this data to monitor and alter individual and team workloads to attenuate soft tissue injuries that occur with overtraining and ensure off-season training are at intensities that match in-season demands.

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