BACKGROUND: Advancement of wearable technology allow practitioners to collect measurements of external workload such as inertial load (IL) and acceleration zones (AZ) during an athletic activity. An athlete’s IL and AZ can provide insight for athletic personnel to prescribe appropriate training loads over time. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study examined IL and AZ differences over a competitive season (preseason: 2 weeks, in-season: 10 weeks) in collegiate male soccer players. IL was characterized as an athletes position relative to a starting point and is calculated using the player load formula. AZs were determined by the sensor developers and categorized into five different zones which consisted of 1-2 m/s2­, 2-3 m/s2, 3-4 m/s2, 4-5 m/s2, and 5-6 m/s2. METHODS: Twenty-one (age: 19.6±1.2 years, height: 180.7±8.3cm, mass: 75.6±7.4kg) Division I collegiate male soccer players were monitored using wearable Global Positioning Systems (GPS). A 10Hz Titan +1 (2”x1.5”x0.25”) sensor (Houston, Texas, United States) was secured by a jersey resting between the scapulae of each participant and was used to track every training session and match across the competitive season. Sensors were activated and distributed by the coaches fifteen minutes prior to players taking the field to allow for adequate synchronization. Sensors were collected immediately following completion of each session. To ensure adequate monitoring over the season, participants were excluded from analysis if <75% of the total number of sessions were not recorded (n=2). A series of paired sample t-tests with an alpha level of p<0.05 were used to compare differences in IL and AZ between preseason and in-season periods. RESULTS: Paired samples t-tests revealed significant differences between preseason IL (1219.6±146.7 m/s3) and in-season IL (1919.8±211.9 m/s3) (p<.001). These tests also showed significant differences within each AZ between preseason and in-season p<.05. CONCLUSION: Significant differences in the preseason/in-season IL signifies there is an increase in change of position and direction in-season compared to pre-season. The significant differences between the AZ’s signifies athletes are spending more time accelerating and changing speeds in-season compared to pre-season. This study provides athletic personnel reports that can aid in developing training protocols based on the demands of competitive play in the regular season.

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