External Training Load Monitoring and the Impact on Training Load Management in Collegiate Male Soccer Players


Soccer is a physically demanding sport within the National Collegiate Athletic Association and continuously increases in popularity. To ensure athletes are adequately prepared for weekly physical stressors, coaches can use global positioning system technology to monitor external workloads and exercise intensity. These data can subsequently help coaches and practitioners better implement individualized training programs to ensure athletes are properly balancing the overreaching and overtraining paradigm. Therefore, the purpose of this observational study was to retrospectively analyze 3 consecutive seasons of external workload (total and high intensity distance) and injury data, which were derived from all training sessions and matches in 46 Division-I collegiate male soccer players. A coach's interpretation sought to provide practical insight into the functionality behind load management and how it prepares athletes for the physical stressors placed on them throughout a season. Two separate 3 × 3 repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to determine differences between total distance and distance at high-intensity with an alpha level set at 0.05. Total distance between preseason and in-season (p = 0.003), acute high-intensity distance (p < 0.001), and chronic high-intensity distance (p < 0.001) yielded significant differences. These results conclude the demands of each athlete change weekly and between seasons. It is recommended that sport coaches and practitioners develop individualized training programs by workload monitoring while considering variables such as a team's style of play, experience, position, role within a program, training intensity, and the length of time between conditioning sessions, practices, and matches.



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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research