Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kimitake Sato

Committee Members

Brad H. DeWeese, Adam L. Sayers, Michael H. Stone


The purposes of this dissertation were to examine common athlete training and monitoring practices in men’s collegiate soccer and to report the programming strategies and monitoring outcomes for an NCAA Division I men’s collegiate soccer team whose coaching and sport science staff collaborated on a daily basis. The following are the major findings of the dissertation:

Study 1 – Coaches from all divisions of play responded to a custom survey. A majority of coaches developed an in-season training plan that varied both daily and weekly volume and intensity. One-third of the coaches performed no athlete monitoring, and a number of coaches performed purely subjective monitoring of training load and fatigue. Common athlete monitoring tools included sport performance, self-report questionnaires, and physical performance tests. Most coaches believed their athletes did not change or improved in all aspects of performance, while injuries were a mix of new and recurrent.

Study 2 – Statistical differences in training load were found between each phase of the season, and training load variation was found with respect to the number of days before a match. Phasic training loads were highest during the pre-season and non-conference portions of the season and decreased significantly during conference play and the post-season. The daily training load values reflected the player groups’ match involvement and therefore led to different loading strategies between the groups.

Study 3 – No statistically significant decreases in squat jump height occurred across the season, although a moderate practical decline occurred following the pre-season. The correlation between training load and squat jump height were statistically non-significant, while the cross-correlation was significant. The athlete monitoring program was successful in managing the athletes’ neuromuscular fatigue across the season as evidenced by the maintenance of squat jump height and positive relationship between training load and changes in squat jump height.

Coach education on the importance of athlete training load and fatigue monitoring is imperative. Collaboration between coaching and sport science staffs in conjunction with an athlete monitoring program can ensure variation in training load and can help manage athlete fatigue across a competitive season.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright 2017 Matthew L. Sams