Quantification of External Training Load among Elite-Level Goalkeepers within Competitive Microcycle

Vladovic, Jakov, Versic, Sime, Foretic, Nikola, Morgans, Ryland and Modric, Toni (2023) Quantification of External Training Load among Elite-Level Goalkeepers within Competitive Microcycle. Applied Sciences, 13 (19).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/app131910880


This study aimed to evaluate the external training load (ETL) of elite-level goalkeepers considering days before match day (MD minus) and playing status in subsequent matches. The ETL of three goalkeepers from the Croatian highest national football competition were analyzed, quantifying goalkeeping-specific physical performance variables (i.e., distances covered, acceleration frequencies, dives, jumps). Data were collected using a 10 Hz global-positioning system and 100 Hz accelerometer technology (Vector G7, Catapult Sports Ltd., Melbourne, Australia) from 67 training sessions. Significant daily differences for almost all physical performance variables were found (all small-to-medium effect sizes (ESs)). Specifically, total distance, total and high-intensity dives, high-intensity accelerations and decelerations, and explosive efforts were greatest on MD-3 and lowest on MD-2 and MD-1. Nonstarters performed more medium jumps on MD-4 (large ES); low jumps on MD-3 (medium ES); total, right-, and left-side dives and low jumps on MD-2 (all small-to-medium ESs); and left-side dives and low and medium jumps on MD-1 (all small-to-medium ESs) compared to the starters. These findings demonstrated that (i) elite-level goalkeepers experienced the greatest ETL on MD-3 and the lowest on MD-2 and MD-1 and that (ii) starters’ and nonstarters’ ETLs were similar on MD-4 and MD-3, while nonstarters compared to the starters presented slightly greater ETLs on MD-2 and MD-1. This study highlighted the differing daily training demands placed on elite-level goalkeepers, offering valuable insights for their preparation.

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