Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST)

  • The LIST was developed to closely simulate the physiological demands of multi-sprint sports such as soccer (Nicholas et al 2000).
  • Subjects are required to perform six 15-min ‘blocks’ of running, equating to 90 min (i.e. the same duration as a football match).
  • Each block of exercise is made up of a number of repeating cycles of exercise where participants are required to walk, sprint, run and jog.

Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT)

  • The LSPT was developed as a test to assess the multi-faceted aspects of soccer skill, including dribbling, control and decision-making.
  • Using a mixture of professional and university standard players, it has been found to be a valid and reliable instrument to determine soccer skill (Ali et al 2007).
  • The LSPT has also been validated for use in females (Ali et al 2008) and children (Le Moal et al 2014).

Loughborough Soccer Shooting Test (LSST)

  • The LSST also incorporates a number of facets integral to soccer including shooting ability, reaction time, decision making and running speed.
  • This study has also been validated using  professional and University standard players (Ali et al 2007)

The relationship between daily fatigue measures and performance in soccer players

The combination of high intensity game play, long distance travel, and the intense pressure to perform can put elite football players under a high degree of stress. International teams face a unique challenge in that they may only have access to their players for periods of 10 days (standard length of an international window) at a time and their players will often arrive fatigued and having flown across a number of time zones. Therefore it is important that player condition and fatigue state is monitored in order to adjust and optimise workloads. A number of potential markers of fatigue exist but there is a need to identify sensitive and reliable markers that can be easily implemented with elite football teams. This project aims to assess the ability of a series of fatigue tests to detect fatigue and readiness to train among adult male footballers.

Student: Aidan Wivell (MSc Sport and Exercise Science)

Collaborator: Dr Andrew Foskett (Massey University)

Relationship between on-field and off-field soccer passing performance

Talented youth soccer players outscore their less-talented peers during off-field passing-skill tests but limited research exists on whether these talented individuals outperform their peers during match-play. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between passing performance in a passing test and passing performance during match-play. Possible influences of playing position, fatigue and pressure on passing performance were also investigated.

Collaborators: Martsen-Almer Minkes, Barbara C. H. Huijgen, Merle M. A. Vrooijink, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser and Chris Visscher (University of Groningen)

The effect of different playing surfaces on soccer skill and sprint performance

Due to rising numbers of people playing football, and limited availability of traditional grass surfaces, demand for pitch use has increased, particularly in densely populated cities and areas of the world. Surfaces such as sprung wooden gym floors, hard courts and artificial turf pitches have been seen as alternatives to grass fields. However, questions have been raised about the legitimacy of how much artificial pitches actually imitate the playing conditions of grass. Player perceptions are often negative regarding artificial surfaces with athletes indicating that artificial turfs are more physically demanding and make ball control harder. Playing style has also been observed to change with increased short passing observed on artificial relative to grass turf. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess how different surfaces (grass, artificial, wooden and hard court) will affect football-related performance (skill, sprint, agility) in elite male players.

Student: Reilly O’Meagher (BSc Honours candidate)

Collaborators: Dr Andrew Foskett (Massey University) and Dr John O’Reilly (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Effects of fluid, electrolyte and carbohydrate ingestion on soccer performance in acclimatised players

This series of studies aimed to investigate the effects of electrolyte (sodium) and/or carbohydrate (glucose) ingestion on various soccer-specific metabolic, performance and perceptual outcomes in well-trained male players. A secondary aim was to examine skill performance following repeated sprints in elite female players.

Collaborators: Dr John O’Reilly, Prof Stephen Wong (Chinese University of Hong Kong)