Individual factors affecting rugby sevens match performance

Purpose: To examine the collective independent influence of a range of individual characteristics on physical and technical match performance during international rugby sevens matches. Methods: Data were collected from 20 international rugby sevens players from 1 team across 1 season. Activity profiles were measured using wearable microtechnology devices, and technical performance measures were collected from match video analysis. Subjective well-being measures were collected using a well-being questionnaire completed on the morning of main training days, and groin-squeeze assessments at 0° and 60° knee flexion were also conducted using a sphygmomanometer. Assessments of aerobic fitness were completed periodically across the season, including time to complete a 2-km run and final velocity during the 30:15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT). A principal-components analysis was conducted to reduce the dimensionality of the physical and technical variables into single-factor values. Linear mixed models were then constructed to examine the collective influence of a range of individual contextual variables on physical and technical performance factors. Results: Increased muscle soreness, stress, and VIFT were associated with trivial to small increases in physical and technical performance values, whereas trivial to small decreases were associated with higher perceived recovery, body weight, and groin squeeze (0° knee flexion). Conclusions: A range of well-being metrics are required to account for a significant portion of the variance in physical and technical performance. These factors may be manipulated by coaches or practitioners to achieve favorable physiological readiness that may lead to improved match performance.
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Subjects: performance factor rugby sports technical skill
Notations: sport games
DOI: 10.1123/ijspp.2018-0133
Published in: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Published: 2019
Volume: 14
Issue: 5
Pages: 620-626
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced