Wellbeing perception and the impact on external training output among elite soccer players

J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Jan;21(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.03.019. Epub 2017 Apr 13.


Objectives: The objective of the investigation was to observe the impact of player wellbeing on the training output of elite soccer players.

Design: Prospective cohort design.

Methods: Forty-eight soccer players (age: 25.3±3.1years; height: 183±7cm; mass: 72±7kg) were involved in this single season observational study across two teams. Each morning, pre-training, players completed customised perceived wellbeing questionnaires. Global positioning technology devices were used to measure external load (total distance, total high-speed running distance, high speed running, player load, player load slow, maximal velocity, maximal velocity exposures). Players reported ratings of perceived exertion using the modified Borg CR-10 scale. Integrated training load ratios were also analysed for total distance:RPE, total high speed distance:RPE player load:RPE and player load slow:RPE respectively.

Results: Mixed-effect linear models revealed significant effects of wellbeing Z-score on external and integrated training load measures. A wellbeing Z-score of -1 corresponded to a -18±2m (-3.5±1.1%), 4±1m (-4.9±2.1%,) 0.9±0.1kmh-1 (-3.1±2.1%), 1±1 (-4.6±2.9%), 25±3AU (-4.9±3.1%) and 11±0.5AU (-8.9±2.9%) reduction in total high speed distance, high speed distance, maximal velocity, maximal velocity exposures, player load and player load slow respectively. A reduction in wellbeing impacted external:internal training load ratios and resulted in -0.49±0.12mmin-1, -1.20±0.08mmin-1,-0.02±0.01AUmin-1 in total distance:RPE, total high speed distance:RPE and player load slow:RPE respectively.

Conclusions: The results suggest that systematic monitoring of player wellbeing within soccer cohorts can provide coaches with information about the training output that can be expected from individual players during a training session.

Keywords: Athlete wellness; Maximal velocity exposure; Running performance; Team sport.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Physical Conditioning, Human*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult