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Psychophysiological Responses to a Preseason Training Camp in High-Level Youth Soccer Players

, , Sascha Härtel, Sabrina Skorski, ,

Abstract:Purpose: This study aimed to examine the responsiveness of commonly used measurement instruments to a short training camp by examining the time course of psychophysiological responses in high-level youth soccer players. Methods: Monitoring was carried out in 14 U15 male soccer players of 1 professional youth academy. Players provided data 3 days prior to (D − 3), during (D2−D4), and 1 (D + 1) and 4 days (D + 4) after the camp: 4 items for the Short Recovery and Stress Scale (SRSS), a countermovement jump (CMJ), and a submaximal run to assess exercise heart rate and heart-rate recovery. Training load during the camp followed an alternating low–high pattern, with lower training loads on D1 and D3 and higher training loads on D2 and D4. Results: Changes in SRSS physical performance capability, emotional balance, overall recovery, muscular stress, and overall stress were small to moderate on D3 and moderate to large on D + 1, while changes were trivial on D + 4. Some CMJ parameters related to the eccentric phase were slightly improved on D3, and these parameters were slightly impaired on D4. Changes in CMJ parameters were trivial on D + 1 and D + 4. After a moderate decrease in exercise heart rate on D3, there was a small decrease on D + 4 and a moderate increase in heart-rate recovery. Conclusion: Measurement instruments such as the SRSS and submaximal runs can be used to monitor acute psychophysiological responses to load, while the CMJ may provide little insight during periods of intensified training load.
Keywords: stress / soccer / camp / load / strong / youth / players / SRSS / psychophysiological

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