The aim of this study was to compare locomotor activity profiles of Brazilian top-class female soccer players competing at distinct age brackets (U17, U20, and Senior). External match load of 14 U17, 14 U20, and 17 Senior female soccer players competing in 6-7 full official international matches were assessed using global positioning systems (GPS). Total distance covered, distance covered in high intensity (HID:15.6-20 km.h-1), distance covered in sprints (sprint:>20 km.h-1), number of accelerations (Acc)>1 m.s-2, decelerations (Dec) >-1 m.s-2, and Player Load® generally increased across the age brackets (U17<U20<Senior). For all playing positions, Senior athletes presented greater total distance, accelerations, and decelerations than U20 players. For high-intensity distance and sprints, only central defender and midfielder senior players presented greater values than U20 players. Senior players demonstrated higher values in all locomotor activities in comparison to U17 players, irrespective of playing positions. Except for central defenders that presented similar total distance, sprint distance, and number of accelerations between U20 and U17, the majority of match external loads evaluated in all playing positions were greater in U20 than in U17 players. These results provide useful information for player development and should be used to establish appropriate match-specific conditioning drills according to age categories.
1Federal University of Minas Gerais. School of Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
2Brazilian National Football Confederation (CBF). Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
3NAR. Nucleus of High Performance in Sport, Sa[Combining Tilde]o Paulo, SP, Brazil.
4The College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia
5Federal University of Pará, Castanhal, PA, Brazil
6Federal University of Maranhão, São Luiz, MA, Brazil
7Federal University of Minas Gerais. Institute of Biological Sciences, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
8Federal University of Minas Gerais, Sport and Exercise Discipline Group, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Corresponding author: Fábio Yuzo Nakamura Av Padre Jose Maria 555 CEP 05018010 São Paulo Brazil Tel.: + 55/11/84262 222 Fax: + 55/11/30342 151
All authors certify that there is no conflict of interest with any financial organization regarding the material discussed in the manuscript.