Scientific article
Open access

Weekly External Load Performance Effects on Sports Injuries of Male Professional Football Players

Publication date2023-01-08
First online date2023-01-08

One of the most challenging issues professional football players face throughout their careers is injuries. Those injuries often result from suboptimal training programs that were not designed according to the players’ individual needs. This prospective study aimed to examine in detail the effects of sports injuries on professional football players’ weekly external load performances. Thirty-three male professional football players were monitored using 10-Hz Global Positioning System (GPS) units (Apex pro series, StatSports) during an entire season. The variables considered in the analysis were total distance (TD), high-speed running (HSR), accelerations (ACC), and decelerations (DEC). The comparisons were made between the four-week block before injury (–4T), four-week block after return (+4T), and players’ season averages (S). Players displayed significantly higher values of TD, HSR, ACC, and DEC in the –4T, compared to the other two moments (+4T and S). Furthermore, the comparison between the +4T and S showed no significant variations in the GPS metrics. It was shown that a significant increase in players’ weekly external load performance over a four–week period may have a negative effect on the occurrence of injuries from a professional football standpoint. Future research should consider the effects of injury severity on players’ external load variations.

  • GPS
  • Injury prevention
  • Risk factors of injury
  • Soccer
  • Sports monitoring
Research group
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - [185901]
  • LARSyS-Portuguese national funding agency for science, research, and technology (FCT) pluri-annual funding 2020-2023 - [UIDB/50009/2020]
  • Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES - Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspectives - [51NF40-185901]
  • System of Incentives for the Production of Scientific and Technological Knowledge in the Auton-omous Region of Madeira-PROCiência 2020 - [M1420-01-0247-FEDER-000033]
Citation (ISO format)
MARTINS, Francisco et al. Weekly External Load Performance Effects on Sports Injuries of Male Professional Football Players. In: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2023, vol. 20, n° 2, p. 1121. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20021121
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1660-4601

Technical informations

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