World Cup Analysis Project

Sports Path World Cup Technical Report 2014

Please enjoy this World cup analysis report that I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute to.

 

In the weeks before the 2014 World Cup began, Sports path assembled a team of soccer coaches & analysts to study key technical aspects of the tournament.

 

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FIFA World Cup 2014, Analysis Project

Sports Path World Cup Technical Report 2014

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Why Do Soccer Players Need To Consider A Recovery Strategy?

Immediately after a match or a training session Muscle Glycogen levels may be nearly depleted, it is therefore important to have a strategy to replenish that lost Glycogen as quickly as possible in order to get ready for the next session or match. 

One suggestion I made to my older players was to put a reminder on their cell phones 40 minutes before they left for practice in order for them to pack a Solid snack and drink to begin their post match/practice recovery. I always remind my players to begin their recovery as they leave the field. However it is important to encourage the players to take responsibility in making and sticking to their very own recovery strategy.

Below are some frequently asked questions along with answers that can aid in the Players and Parents decision making.

 WHAT ARE THE TIME CONSIDERATIONS FOR POST GAME RECOVERY? 

A. The 60 minute window immediately after a match or session is the time a player should look to get a jump start on replenishing lost muscle glycogen levels. Players can get this through food and drink.

  SHOULD IT BE LIQUID OR SOLID RECOVERY? 

A. It can be both, the advantage of liquid is that it also helps with hydration.

 

 WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FAVORITE POST GAME REPLENISHERS? 

A. Low fat chocolate milk, It has a high percentage of carbohydrate as well as proteins that aid in the glycogen recovery process. It also is a fluid that helps to hydrate the body and has vitamins and minerals that replace those lost in sweat.

 

 

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Recovery, Replenishing Muscle Glycogen

The 60 minute window after training or a match is the critical time for replenishing Glycogen. Immediately after training or a match players should eat or drink 1.0-1.5g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight along with a small amount of protein.This is the prime window for restoring the depleted glycogen stores, Thus it is vitally important to eat and drink Carbohydrates at this time. Even if a player eats a solid dinner, missing this 60 minute window after exercise will prevent maximum glycogen replenishment which can lead to a decline in performance. Thus taking advantage of this 60 minute window helps the player begin preparing for the next days competition. A sports drink and a banana or bagel is suitable. Also Low fat chocolate milk is also an ideal recovery drink. 

Below are some Solid and Weak choices for Post match or practice drinks and snacks. These choices are both inexpensive and easily packed in a players training bag, Although it can be difficult for players to eat straight after it is a good habit as reaching the top level requires players to consider a recovery strategy in order to prepare them for upcoming sessions and matches in the following days. This can really be the difference and will lead to increased performance both physically and mentally on the pitch.

                   SOLID                                                       WEAK

              20oz Sports Drink                                      Potato Chips

              Bagel                                                        Snack Cake

              Banana                                                     Protein Shake

              12oz Low fat Chocolate Milk                     Cookies

               Granola Bar

 

 

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Maintaining Muscle Glycogen

Eating a high carbohydrate diet each day is essential to replenishing depleted glycogen stores. A Soccer players diet should typically include 65% carbohydrates, 25% Fat and 10% protein.

Frequently asked questions.

1. CAN PLAYERS EAT TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES?

A. Yes they can and that can result in an inadequate protein intake. However telling players to eat more carbohydrates is not bad advice as typically players will still take in enough protein.

2. IS IT ABOUT THE QUANTITY OR QUALITY OF FOODS CONSUMED?

A. It is not just about the quantity of the diet, it is also about the quality of the diet. There has to be a balance between the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that are digested by the player. For a youth player about 65% of their calories need to come from carbohydrates, 25% from fats and the remainder from protein.

3. ARE THERE SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR PLAYERS BEFORE TRAINING OR MATCHES IF THEY HAVE NOT EATEN FOR SOME TIME?

A. A good strategy for players would be to have a snack about 30 minutes before the start of the training session, such as a sports drink, energy bar, banana or a bagel.

4. WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF EXERCISE ON MUSCLE GLYCOGEN STORES?

A. Muscle glycogen declines if carbohydrates are not stored. With a high carbohydrate diet Muscle glycogen returns to the same level from the previous day, however with a low carbohydrate diet, the muscle glycogen is depleted and does not recover to the previous level so by the next  days training session they are unprepared and in turn by the end of the week the muscle glycogen levels have declined so much that the player is not able to go the full 90 minutes.

5. WHAT ARE THE CARBOHYDRATE REQUIREMENTS PER DAY FOR PLAYERS?

A. 65% of a players solid diet should be made up of carbohydrates.

6. WHAT IS THE DAILY PROTEIN REQUIREMENT FOR PLAYERS?

A. An adequate diet will provide plenty of protein for a young player. The required protein intake is about 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

7. WHAT FOODS BEST PROVIDE PROTEIN?

A. Lean chicken breast.

8. WHAT ARE OTHER GOOD SOURCES OF PROTEIN?

A. Vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs.

9. IS IT ALL ABOUT PASTA OR ARE THERE OTHER GOOD SOURCES OF CARBOHYDRATE?

A. No, there is a small amount of protein in pasta, eating the pasta with a sauce can provide more carbohydrates along with protein and fats.

10. WHAT IS A SOLID DIET FOR A PLAYER?

A. Eating an above average amount of carbohydrates, and carbohydrate rich foods. This would be more carbohydrates than a typical teenager.

11. 3 SIMPLE DO’S AND DONT’S FOR PLAYERS…….

DO’S

1. Focus on lean meats

2. Fresh fruits and vegetables

3. pasta and bread products

DONT’S

1. Avoid fatty meats especially with sauces.

2. High fat desert products.

3. High processed sugar content e.g. cookies

12. SHOULD THE COACH SET AN EXAMPLE?

A. Yes the coach should show the players through their own lifestyle what foods to eat and what foods to avoid.

13. WHY NOT SODAS OR FIZZY DRINKS?

A. They have a very high processed sugar content, these are not the types of carbohydrates we need to replace muscle glycogen. Players should replace these with water, juice and milk.

14. DISADVANTAGES OF A HIGH FAT DIET?

A. A high fat diet squeezes out the carbohydrates in the diet this will have a negative effect on performance. This can also cause weight gain and high cholesterol which will lead to poor health.

15. SHOULD YOU ALLOW YOUR PLAYERS TREATS?

A. Yes, The key is to limit them so once or twice a week is fine just not every day.

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Why Do Soccer Players Need A Special Diet?

Soccer requires a tremendous amount of energy, therefore it is important that players have a good intake of carbohydrates in their diet. Eating the right foods at the right time are vitally important. Make sure as a player you have enough fuel for training and matches.

By eating a diet high in carbohydrates this can delay fatigue and in turn keep the players engaged mentally. This diet minimizes the affect of fatigue and in turn improves mental speed such as decision making as well as technical ability and intensity which can lead to improved skill level and effort. 

With all my teams I like to test my players mentally, typically I will use foot communication as a tool to improve speed of play. If players are not partaking in a solid diet with plenty of carbohydrates their muscle glycogen stores become depleted. A high carbohydrate diet results in greater glycogen stores, as these glycogen stores are depleted the muscle begins to rely heavily on blood glucose as a fuel. This decline in blood glucose can dramatically affect performance as it causes fatigue, Much of the fatigue experienced on the field is the result of central fatigue/mental fatigue,(central nervous system which effects the brain and effects the player using muscles due to a lack of motivation and desire.) In turn this can lead  to increased risk of injury due to poor decision making. For example a player may approach a tackle more recklessly.

The second type of fatigue is muscle fatigue, This is when the muscle does not have enough ability to stable the various joints, typically the knees and ankles which puts the ligaments at more risk of damage due to stopping and starting as well as cutting and changing direction dynamically.

This effects performance on the field as typically players can travel up to 25% less distance, particularly towards the end of the match, this is when we see poor decisions both mentally and technically which leads to more goals given up and more pulls and strains.

The more Muscle glycogen stored before a match or training the longer players will avoid fatigue. This is dependent on the players diet.

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Soccer Diet.. Is Diet & Performance on the soccer field linked?

There is no denying that playing soccer, be it a match or a training session takes an abundance of energy. During the latter stages of a match players experience fatigue, this in turn affects physical and mental performance. This was a main contributing factor as to why my U14 Boys quality of technical ability as well as intensity and effort suffered tonight. So this brings me to the question. Is what they are eating and drinking before practice effecting their performance?  In the coming days, weeks and months I will be posting on this blog what I believe to be the answers, I will be backing this up with facts from reliable and respected sources as well as scientific evidence from as such people. Please feel free to comment as I value opinions and look forward to increasing my knowledge through what I hope will be this reflective learning tool for coaches, players and parents alike.

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