The relationship between physical capacity and match performance in elite Australian football: a mediation approach.

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Journal Article
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2011, 14 (5), pp. 447 - 452
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The aim of this study was to verify if yo-yo intermittent recovery test (level 2) (yo-yo IR2) score is linked to Australian football (AF) performance through match exercise intensity. Six week prospective study design. Twenty-one data sets were recorded from nine individual players that completed the yo-yo IR2, and played an Australian Football League match in the first five rounds of the 2010 season wearing a global positioning system (GPS) unit. Simple mediation modelling was used to analyse the inter-relationship between yo-yo IR2 score, match exercise intensity and AF performance. Playing position and experience were also incorporated into the model to identify conditional affects. A significant direct relationship was observed between yo-yo IR2 and number of ball disposals (p < 0.1) and a significant indirect relationship was observed between yo-yo IR2 and number of ball disposals through distance travelled at high intensity (HIRmmin-1) (p < 0.1). Moderation analysis showed that playing position affected the relationship between of yo-yo IR2 and HIR mmin-1 (p < 0.1) and HIR mmin-1 and total ball disposals (p < 0.1). Playing experience also significantly affected the relationship between HIR mmin-1 and total ball disposals. This study is the first to identify the effects of yo-yo IR2 on total ball disposals through HIR mmin-1 performed during AF matches, and that playing position and playing experience affect these interactions.
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