Global positioning system activity profile in male para footballers with cerebral palsy: Does training meet the match-play intensity in a three-day national tournament?
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research / School of Arts and Humanities
Objective To compare training and match loads for CP football athletes in a state-level development program to assess the specificity of training for competition in the para sport. Design Time-motion analysis and heart-rate monitoring were applied during 20 training sessions of the Western Australia CP football 2017 training season, and seven competition matches of the 2017 Australian National Championships. The study employed an observational study design with between-subjects and within-subjects comparisons of training and match loads. Results There were no significant differences between training and match loads in players’ measurements of speed components and heart-rates, with two exceptions: higher match distance covered in very-high-speed (g = 0.33) and time in heart rate zone 1 (<75% HRmax,g = 0.45), and less time in HR Zone 2 (g = 0.42). Conclusion Our results indicate that the athletes were conditioned to perform at similar intensities implemented during training, as demonstrated by the consistency between competition and training data in total distance, relative speed zones and relative heart rate zones. Coaches should apply this knowledge in the programming of training volume and intensities to obtain peak match fitness and specifically prepare athletes for competition in CP football.