A Study on the Changes in Performance, Physical Ability, and Mental Stress and Recovery During the Course of a Division III Soccer Season in Both Men and Women

Author: Liam Courtney
Major: Biochemistry
Approved: Spring 2019
Status: In progress

This investigation seeks to establish a comprehensive baseline of physical and psychological function in Division Ill soccer players across an entire season of training and competition. The Roanoke College men’s and women’s soccer teams will be assessed periodically throughout their respective seasons to see how their performance, physical ability and mood change. Physical and psychological function will be measured by using the advanced statistics for every game available collected by the Roanoke College Stat Crew to measure performance, a soccer skills assessment to test performance, a physical performance battery to measure physical ability, a Movement Competency Screen test to assess physical ability, and the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) to assess athlete stress and mental recovery. These tests will be done at the beginning of the season (during preseason), around the midpoint of the season, and after the conclusion of the regular season and any postseason play. In addition, injuries that occur during the season will be recorded and evaluated for severity and type, and athletes will provide basic demographic information and injury history. If funding allows, all of the athletes for each team will be provided with fitness trackers to monitor heart rate, sleep patterns, and other physical attributes. Practice types will also be analyzed. The coaches will provide information regarding the amount of time spent doing each type of practice. The practice types for this study will be weight training, stretching/warm-ups, conditioning, individual drills, multi-person drills, and scrimmaging. It is anticipated that men’s and women’s Division III soccer players will experience systematic changes in physical and psychological attributes across a season. Armed with this information, coaches will know better how to adjust training and practice types in the future in order to maximize performance in their athletes.