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J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Nov;27(11):2989-96. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182897a46.

Changes in jump, sprint, and coordinative performances after a senior soccer match.

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1Department of Human Sciences, Society, and Health, University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale, Cassino, Italy; and 2Department of Human Movement and Sport Science, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy.


This study aimed to verify the short-term after effects of a soccer match on senior players' all-out and interlimb coordination performances. Right before (prematch) and after (postmatch) a match, 10 senior (52.3 ± 10.2 years) male soccer players were administered jump (countermovement jump [CMJ]; repeated jump [RJ]), sprint (10 m and 10 m while dribbling the ball [10 mDB]), in-phase (IP) and antiphase (AP) interlimb coordination (synchronized hand and foot flexions and extensions at 80, 120, 180 bpm). Heart rate (HR) responses and subjective rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and rating of muscle pain (RMP) were used to evaluate the intensity of the friendly match. During the match, HR >85% of individual HRmax occurred for 50% of playing time. Subjective ratings at the end of the match were 12.9 ± 2.2 pt and 2.7 ± 2.2 pt for RPE and RMP, respectively. Postmatch CMJ, 10 m, 10 mDB, AP, IP 80 bpm, and IP 120 bpm performances did not show any difference with respect to prematch values, whereas improvements (p < 0.05) in RJ (prematch: 17.4 ± 3.9 cm; postmatch: 19.3 ± 4.8 cm) and IP 180 bpm (prematch: 30.4 ± 15.1 second; postmatch: 50.3 ± 18.9 second) emerged. These findings indicate that senior soccer players are able to cope with the high demands of match play and suggest that an acute bout of intense exercise has an arousing effect that counteracts fatigue effects and facilitates the performance of old trained individuals on complex motor behaviors relying on central executive control. In considering that players consider soccer as highly motivating, with advancing years this sport could help players in preserving high mental and physical functions and maintaining active engagement in life through social interactions.

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