BACKGROUND: Readiness evaluates an athlete’s physical and mental preparedness to perform on a particular day. Characterizing the interplay between readiness and gameday performance could optimize training programs to enhance success in elite sports. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the individual components of readiness on gameday performance in Division I women’s soccer players. METHODS: Thirty-three NCAA Division I women’s soccer players (mean ± SD; age=20.2±1.5 yrs; height=167.1±5.7 cm; weight=64.1±6.2 kg) completed eight weeks of a daily survey prior to each training session. The daily survey aggregates stress, mood, fatigue, soreness, sleep duration, and sleep quality for a single readiness score. Performance metrics [high intensity running distance (m), maximum speed (km/hr), and meters per minute (m/min)] were tracked daily with wearable GPS units (PlayerData, Edinburgh, UK) and evaluated on match day (MD). Bivariate correlations were used to characterize relationships between MD variables, with stepwise linear regressions applied to significant performance outcomes. RESULTS: MD readiness was predictive of MD maximum speed (r=0.354; p=0.043) but not of high intensity running (p=0.084) or meters per minute (p=0.105). No significant correlations were found between individual components of MD readiness (stress, mood, fatigue, soreness, sleep duration, and sleep quality) and MD performance outcomes (maximum speed, high intensity running, meters per minute; p>0.05). Stepwise linear regressions demonstrated MD readiness and fatigue as significant predictors of MD maximum speed, together predicting 22% of the variability. No other components of readiness emerged as significant predictors of MD performance outcomes (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: A comprehensive readiness score appears to be predictive of maximum speed on MD, with fatigue being the most influential component that influences the predictability. Load management, recovery and nutrition strategies that may have a direct impact on readiness and fatigue should be explored to enhance on-field performance. Future studies should evaluate these factors in a larger sample and through different parts of the season.

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