The decline of the regular match cycle

Jun 28, 2022 | ACADEMY, WEBINAR

From season to season, it is tougher for fitness coaches to refer to a typical training week (Sunday – Sunday). We decided to dive into the tricky subject of the match cycles deeply. We checked firsthand what happened in the Serie A 2020-2021 season to 8 of our gpexe teams. A case study that includes 232 players and 23563 training sessions.

Match cycle

The “match cycle” is a container that includes a match and all the days (whether training or rest) that precede the following match.

 

The week Sunday – Sunday is a MC7. In the case of a match on Sunday and a subsequent game on Saturday, it will be an MC6. In the case of midweek matches, there will be a MC4 and a MC3. It will be much more difficult to add “strength” or “endurance” training work into these match cycles.

Why did we choose to include the previous game? This helps us differentiate the activity done, after the game that opens the match cycle, between two groups of players:

– the starters, those who have played,

– the non-starters, who are devoid of the load of the match.

We have analysed the match cycles from 3 to 8 days. Longer match cycles are excluded (for example, those relating to FIFA National Breaks). MC3 consists of a match and the two days (be it of practice or rest) that precede the following match. This is the most frequent match cycle in our database of gpexe Serie A teams.

What happens to the athletes who played the previous game, in the continuation of the match cycle? What is the load for the “non-starters”? The data below does not include the game. They represent what the athletes have done in terms of training in the match cycle, to which must be added the amount of the game for the starters. 

Serie A2020. The average number of MPE in the game is 160.

The more we move towards qualitative parameters, the more the gap opens.
For the non-starters, it is very difficult, despite the specific additional work, to be able to reach the load accumulated by the starters, whichever match cycle you are referring to. The management of the two groups is really complicated.

References:
Serie A gpexe teams, 2020 match data from GPS lt and pro² devices (18Hz).

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