Research has demonstrated that induced mental fatigue impairs soccer-speciﬁc technical, tactical and physical performance in soccer players.The ﬁndings are limited by the lack of elite players and low ecological validity of the tasks used to induce mental fatigue, which do not resemble the cognitive demands of soccer. The current study collected survey data from English academy soccer players (n = 256; age groups - U14 – U23), with questions comprising of ﬁve themes (descriptors of physical and mental fatigue, travel, education, match-play and ﬁxture congestion). The survey consisted of multiple choice responses, check boxes and blinded / unblinded (for duration based questions) 0-100 arbitrary unit (AU) slider scales. Listening to music (81.6% of players), using social media (58.3%) and watching videos (34.3%) were the most common pre-match activities. Pre-match subjective mental fatigue was low (18.7 ± 18.8 AU), and most frequently reported at the end of a match (47±26 AU) and remained elevated 24-hours post-match (36 ± 27 AU). Travel (29 ± 24AU), ﬁxture congestion (44 ± 25 AU) and education (30±26 AU) demonstrated a low to moderate presence of subjective mental fatigue. These ﬁndings provide an overview of activities performed by English academy soccer players pre-match, and demonstrate that mental fatigue is experienced as a result of match-play.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sports Sciences on 25/03/2020, available online:
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