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Title: Contemporary practices of physical trainers in professional soccer: A qualitative study
Authors: Barrera-Díaz, Joel 
Figueiredo, António 
Field, Adam
Ferreira, Bruno
Querido, Sérgio M
Silva, João Renato
Ribeiro, João
Pinto, Ismael
Cornejo, Patricio
Torres, Hernan
Saffa, Alvaro
Sarmento, Hugo 
Keywords: evaluation; injury prevention; monitoring and control; optimization; physical abilities; professional football
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers in Psychology
Volume: 14
Abstract: Introduction: Physical trainers (PTs) are integral for managing load, reducing injury and optimizing performance in professional soccer. However, little is known about how this practitioners operate in the applied setting and how some of the nuances experienced influence practice. Methods: This study explored the contemporary practices of PTs in professional soccer. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with eight PTs from di􀀀erent professional teams in European and South American leagues. Interview questions were designed to extract information on the evaluation of physical abilities, monitoring and control of training and injury prevention. Subsequently, the interviews were video-recorded, transcribed, translated and analyzed using a content analysis approach. Results: The results suggest that the evaluation of physical capacities is carried out by PTs at the beginning of the preseason. It also appears that it is attempted that this process of regular testing is applied during the competitive period, with most participants conducting partial physiological and physical evaluations at di􀀀erent stages throughout the competitive season. In relation to themonitoring and control of training, subjective feedback scales are used to estimate the internal load, and the use of GPS devices is common to quantify external loads. Injury prevention programmes were implemented by all participants and were generally in amulti-component format focused on preventing or optimizing physical capabilities. Discussion: These insights can be used as a scientific reference point to inform applied practice in professional soccer, especially for practitioners that are inexperienced and aspiring to enhance how they operate in the field. Future investigations should explore the practices of PTs in detail and across a wider network in order to gain deeper and comprehensive insights into the applied soccer environment.
ISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1101958
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIDAF - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FCDEF - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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