ETRACOM - PTDC/DES/098693/2008
Evaluating Training and Competition in Team Sports. Aggregating Tactical Analysis, External and Internal Workload.

Funded by FCT and co-funded by FEDER/COMPETE

Screenshot 2015-10-26 16.36.57

ISI indexed publications:

Aguiar, M., Botelho, G., Gonçalves, B., & Sampaio, J. (2012). Physiological responses and activity profiles of football small-sided games. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27, 5, 1287-1294.

Sampaio, J., Maçãs, V. (2012) Measuring tactical behaviour in football. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 33, 395-401.

Abrantes, C.; Nunes, M.; Leite, N. & Sampaio, J. (2012) Effects of the number of players and game type constraints on heart rate, rpe and technical actions of soccer small-sided games. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26: 976-981.

Vaz, M., Leite, N. João, P. Gonçalves, B. & Sampaio, J. (2012). Differences Between Experienced And Novice Rugby Union Players During Small-Sided Games. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 115, 594-604.

Sampaio, J., Lago, C., Gonçalves, B., Maçãs, V. & Leite, N. (2013). Effects of pacing, status and unbalance in time motion variables, heart rate and tactical behaviour when playing 5-a-side football small-sided games. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 17, 2, 229-233.

Gonçalves, B., Figueira, B. and Sampaio, J. (2014). Effect of player position on movement behaviour, physical and physiological performances during an 11-a-side football game. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32, 2, 191-199.

Leite, N., Leser, R., Gonçalves, B., Calleja-Gonzalez, J., Baca, A., & Sampaio, J. (2014). Effect of Defensive Pressure on Movement Behaviour During an Under-18 Basketball Game. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(9), 743-748.

Abade, E., Leite, N., Gonçalves, B. and Sampaio, J. (2014). Time-motion and physiological profile of football training sessions performed by under 15, under 17 and under 19 elite Portuguese players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 9, 463-470.

Sampaio, J., Gonçalves, B, Rentero, L., Abrantes, C., Leite, N. (2014). Exploring how basketball players’ tactical performances can be affected by activity workload. Science & Sports, 29(5), 23-30.

Oliveira, T.; Abade, E.; Gonçalves, B.; Gomes, I.; Sampaio., J. (2014) Physical and physiological profiles of youth elite handball players during training sessions and friendly matches according to playing positions. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 14, 1, 162-173.

Sampaio, J., Leser, R., Baca, A., Calleja-Gonzalez, J., Coutinho, D., Gonçalves, B. & Leite, N. (2015). Defensive pressure affects basketball technical actions but not the time-motion variables, Journal of Sport and Health Science,

Coutinho, D., Gonçalves, B., Figueira, B., Abade, E., Marcelino, R. & Sampaio, J. (2015) Typical weekly workload of under 15, under 17, and under 19 elite Portuguese football players, Journal of Sports Sciences, 33:12, 1229-1237.

Aguiar, M., Gonçalves, B., Botelho, G., Lemmink, K. & Sampaio, J. (2015) Footballers’ movement behaviour during 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-a-side small-sided games, Journal of Sports Sciences, 33:12, 1259-1266.

Monitoring team sports training and competitions has been acknowledged as a determinant task to understand the training process leading to elite performance. Scientific research on these topics is focused in understanding the energy demands of sports so that optimal training drills and game simulations can be constructed. Techniques used to track player movement patterns have poor validity and are time consuming, resulting in research carried using small data samples, elite players and only during the competitions.
No research is available characterizing training and competition during the players’ developmental stages. The lack of this monitoring can incur in the following detrimental issues: developmental players over-compete and under-train; adult training and competition programs are imposed on developing players; preparation is geared to the short-term outcome — winning — and not to the process; chronological rather than developmental age is used in training and competition planning; coaches largely neglect the critical periods of accelerated adaptation to training.
Recently, there has been a strong development in technology capable of tracking automatically human-form by global positioning systems (GPS), which allow aligning the game video signal with players’ speed, distance and heart rate information. This advance was crucial and the results provided by these systems are being used by Soccer and Australian Football professionals. Studies using GPS systems in team sports are scarce and focused on the physiological responses and time-motion profiles of small-sided soccer game formats [16]. This study opened up a research topic by allowing, for the first time, to analyze objective kinematic and physiological data regarding the energy demands of soccer training drills. The subsequent steps in this novel research path are including: (i) other team sports, to have a scientific background when advising young athletes to enhance their expertise by playing other team sports; (ii) tactical and situational variables, to account for the complex and dynamic nature of performance; (iii) players’ demands in training and competition at short and mid-term, using tactical, external (distances covered at various speeds) and internal workload (heart rate and perceived exertion). This way, coaches and sports medicine professionals can access objective profiles of tactical proficiency and workload/per week; and (iv) players’ development stages, to create performance profiles, accelerate adaptations, diagnosing overtraining and injury prevention.
Therefore, the aim of this project is to monitor practice and competition in team sports, by aggregating tactical analysis, external and internal workload during players’ developmental stages. We pretend to build these performance profiles in four different team sports, contrasting outdoor and large-field team sports (Rugby and Soccer) against indoor small-court sports (Basketball and Handball). We will also contrast high-physical impact (Rugby and Handball) against low-physical impact sports (Soccer and Basketball). These approaches will have implications to (i) accelerate adaptation to training, e.g., aerobic solicitation may be potentiated by outdoor and large-field sports; (ii) prevent from overtraining and injury prevention, e.g., high-impact sports may have detrimental effects in players’ skeleton growth and muscular development.
The monitoring of training and competition will be done during three consecutive weeks in several teams, in order to have information about short and mid-term responses. This way, the profiles will be constructed over databases with at least 30 practice sessions and 8 competitions per sport in each developmental stage.
Scientific research has concluded that it takes a minimum of 10 years and 10,000 hours of training for a talented athlete to reach elite levels. Evaluating players in three different development stages (under 15 and under 17 years old) will allow establishing normative data. Also, it might be possible to understand how differences in physical, cognitive, and emotional maturity have effects on game tactical proficiency and on physical and physiological responses.
The research team selected to carry on this project is multidisciplinary, with background in match analysis, sports statistics, dynamic systems and long-term athletic development. Also, there is experience in all four team sports, which facilitates contacts in the field when gathering data. The expertise on match analysis is world relevant, evidenced by impact scientific publications and frequent attendances as keynote speakers in world leading congresses. In the past, all carried research was done through video analysis, requiring only small budgets. At the present, the expansion to a new level of quality depends upon the use of new technology and demands applying for funding. This project represents the most important anchorage point from our Master and Doctoral Courses in Team Sports with 30 students per year.