Factors affecting match performance in professional australian football

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Journal Article
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2014, 9 (3), pp. 561 - 566
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To determine the physical activity measures and skill-performance characteristics that contribute to coaches' perception of performance and player performance rank in professional Australian Football (AF). Design: Prospective, longitudinal. Methods: Physical activity profiles were assessed via microtechnology (GPS and accelerometer) from 40 professional AF players from the same team during 15 Australian Football League games. Skill-performance measure and player-rank scores (Champion Data Rank) were provided by a commercial statistical provider. The physical-performance variables, skill involvements, and individual player performance scores were expressed relative to playing time for each quarter. A stepwise multiple regression was used to examine the contribution of physical activity and skill involvements to coaches' perception of performance and player rank in AF. Results: Stepwise multiple-regression analysis revealed that 42.2% of the variance in coaches' perception of a player's performance could be explained by the skill-performance characteristics (player rank/min, effective kicks/min, pressure points/min, handballs/min, and running bounces/ min), with a small contribution from physical activity measures (accelerations/min) (adjusted R2 = .422, F6,282 = 36.054, P < .001). Multiple regression also revealed that 66.4% of the adjusted variance in player rank could be explained by total disposals/min, effective kicks/min, pressure points/min, kick clangers/min, marks/min, speed (m/min), and peak speed (adjusted R2 = .664, F7,281 = 82.289, P < .001). Increased physical activity throughout a match (speed [m/min] β - 0.097 and peak speed β - 0.116) negatively affects player rank in AF. Conclusions: Skill performance rather than increased physical activity is more important to coaches' perception of performance and player rank in professional AF. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.
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