Contextual Factors Influencing External and Internal Training Loads in Collegiate Men's Soccer

Ryan M. Curtis, Robert A. Huggins, Courteney L. Benjamin, Yasuki Sekiguchi, William M. Adams, Shawn M. Arent, Rajat Jain, Sayers J. Miller, Alan J. Walker, Douglas J. Casa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Curtis, RM, Huggins, RA, Benjamin, CL, Sekiguchi, Y, Adams, WM, Arent, SM, Jain, R, Miller, SJ, Walker, AJ, and Casa, DJ. Contextual factors influencing external and internal training loads in collegiate men's soccer. J Strength Cond Res 34(2): 374-381, 2020-This study investigated factors influencing training loads (TL) in collegiate men's soccer. Total distance, high-speed running distance (>14.4 km·h), high-intensity heart-rate zone duration (HI HRZ, >70% heart rate relative to maximum), and session rating of perceived exertion were assessed daily from 107 male soccer players competing for 5 National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I teams. Differences between athlete role (starter and reserve), position (defender, midfielder, and forward), season phase (preseason, in-season, and postseason), days relative to match (MD-1 to MD-5+), days between matches (<4, 4-5, >5 days), previous match outcome (win, loss, and draw), and upcoming opponent relative ranking (weaker, trivial, and stronger) were examined. Mean differences (MD) and effect sizes (ESs) with 90% confidence intervals were reported. There were trivial and insignificant differences by player role, position, or upcoming opponent strength, and small-moderate increases in preseason TL compared with in-season (ES [range] = 0.4-0.9). TLs were lower for MD-1 and higher for MD-5+ (ES [range] = 0.4-1.3) when compared with MD-2-4. External loads (ES = -0.40 ± 0.20) were less after wins compared with losses. TLs are increased in the preseason, when training sessions occur greater than 5 days from a match and after losses. Contextualizing factors affecting TLs has implications for developing workload prescription and recovery strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-381
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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