Effect of Ambient Temperature on Pacing in Soccer Depends on Skill Level

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Abstract

Link, D and Weber, H. Effect of ambient temperature on pacing in soccer depends on skill level. J Strength Cond Res 31(7): 1766–1770, 2017—This study examines the influence ambient temperature has on the distances covered by players in soccer matches. For this purpose, 1,211 games from the top German professional leagues were analyzed over the course of the seasons 2011/12 and 2012/13 using an optical tracking system. Data show (a) significant differences in the total distance covered (TDC, in meters per 10 minutes) between the 1. Bundesliga (M = 1,225) and 2. Bundesliga (M = 1,201) and (b) a significant decrease in TDC from neutral (−4 to 13° C, M = 1,229) to warm (≥14° C, M = 1,217) environments. The size of the temperature effect is greater in the 1. Bundesliga (d = 0.30 vs. d = 0.16), although these players presumably have a higher level of fitness. This suggests that better players reduce their exertion level to a greater extent, thus preserving their ability to undertake the high-intensity activities when called upon. No reduction in running performance due to cold (≤5° C) temperatures was observed.

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