Movement demands and match performance in professional Australian football

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Journal Article
International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2012, 33 (2), pp. 89 - 93
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This study examined the relationship between coaches perception of match performance and movement demands in Australian Football. Movement demands were collected from 21 professional players over 12 matches during one Australian Football League season, with 69 player files collected. Additionally, match events relative to playing time and distance covered, along with player physical characteristics were collected. Based on coaches subjective rating of match performance (out of 20), relatively high calibre (HC) players (15/20) were compared with relatively low calibre (LC) players (9/20) for all variables. The HC players were older (+17%, p=0.011), spent a greater percentage of time performing low-speed running (+2%, p=0.039), had more kicks (38%, p=0.001) and disposals (35%, p=0.001) per min and covered less distance per kick (50%, p=0.001) and disposal (44%, p=0.001) than the LC group, with the effect sizes also supporting this trend. Further, HC players covered less distance (14%, p=0.037), spent less percentage of time (17%, p=0.037) and performed fewer (9%, p=0.026) efforts per min high-speed running than LC players, which was further confirmed by the effect sizes. Movement demands and match events are related to coaches perception of match performance in professional Australian Football. Further, high levels of involvement with the football appeared to be more important to performance than high exercise speed. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG • Stuttgart New York.
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