Categorising repeated sprint activity in professional soccer

  • Andrew Charles O'Boyle

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Limited information exists about repeated sprint activity in elite soccer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the repeated sprint demands in elite soccer throughout the game and to investigate if positional differences exist. Physical performance in official competition was analysed for players in a professional soccer team that competed in the English Championship in 2010/2011 season using a multi-camera computerised tracking system. Repeated sprint performance (defined as a minimum of three sprints with recovery duration between sprints of less than 21 seconds) was measured in 10 championship games. Wide midfielders had the highest number of bouts and were significantly greater than centre backs (p<0.001; effect size = 0.85) and centre forwards (p<0.05; effect size = 0.64). Time to next sprint was influenced by position with wide players having least recovery time and centre backs having the longest time to next sprint (p<0.05; effect size = 0.62). Wide players total bout distance was significantly higher than central midfielders total bout distance (p<0.05). The results demonstrate that repeated sprint performance may be an important physiological quality within elite level football and its relative importance particularly towards the end of games cannot be underestimated.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDoug Thake (Supervisor) & Neil Clarke (Supervisor)


    • Repeated Sprint
    • Soccer
    • Sprinting
    • Position
    • Fatigue
    • Physical performance

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