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    Development of a data-based interval kicking program for preparation and rehabilitation purposes in professional football

    Whiteley, Rod, Farooq, Abdulaziz and Johnson, Amanda ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1648-6506 (2017) Development of a data-based interval kicking program for preparation and rehabilitation purposes in professional football. Science and Medicine in Football, 1 (2). pp. 107-116. ISSN 2473-3938

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    Study Design: Cross-sectional Observational Cohort Study. Level of Evidence: 3. Objectives: Document kicking loads of professional soccer players in match play, and describe differences in velocity-based and distance-based classification. Describe a kicking programme suitable for physical preparation or return to play. Background: To determine reasonable kicking loads (volume and intensity) to plan for preparation and rehabilitation, normal match loads of kicking need to be described. It is not known if the kicking demands vary by playing position. Methods: Match analysis data for the entire 2012 season of the US Major League Soccer was examined using both a distance-based and velocity-based approach. Number and types of kicks were described for each playing position using both approaches. Results: Distance and velocity-based approaches were not seen to be equivalent, and a velocity-based approach was seen to be more reflective of the true kicking demands. The number and type of kicks made in each of the categories were seen to vary by playing position. On average, per game, goalkeepers made the fewest “slow” (0–6 m · s–1) kicks with 24.3 (9.1), left midfielders the most with 68.0 (32.2). Goalkeepers made the fewest “medium” (6–12 m · s–1) kicks with 9.1 (4.1) and central midfielders made the most with 36.8 (15.3). Attackers made the fewest “fast” (>12 m · s–1) kicks with 16.9 (10.1) while the left and right backs made the most with 30.8 (9.8). Conclusion: Kicking load varies by position and is best described using a velocity-based approach. These data can to inform physical preparation for kicking loads.

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