Developing the women’s game is paramount to FIFA’s core mission and as a result the Physical Analysis of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ has just been released.
Despite the growing participation and involvement of women in football, this increase in popularity has not yet been matched by an increase in the available scientific research. In fact, the majority of the literature on the physiological demands of football focuses on the work-rate of elite male players.
The findings of the Physical Analysis provides an in-depth understanding of the demands of women’s football match-play at the highest competitive level. This information helps coaches and fitness conditioners plan programmes and sessions for players to ensure that their training reflects the demands that players will face on matchday.
The Physical Analysis of Canada 2015 also provides practical recommendations to assist with this topic and a section containing sample training sessions.
“It will contribute to the further development of the women’s game worldwide by inspiring both developed and developing nations to create more specific physical training programmes for their elite female players based on the actual demands of match-play, positional role demands, and current standards of the world’s top ranked national teams and most outstanding individual players,” said Vanessa Martinez Lagunas, a FIFA Instructor and Head Coach at University of Manitoba.
“This will help to enhance not only the physical performance of elite female players but also their overall football performance by increasing the intensity and quality of match-play, as well as the players’ durability.”
The analyses and results of this report were divided into three main categories: team analyses, positional and individual analyses, and analysis of the Final.
*Holiday covers the most ground
*Included in the report are some interesting statistics, such as the fact that the eventual champions USA were one of the teams who were able, on average, to cover the most distance at more than 16km per hour, while they were also one of the top five teams who completed the most distance in the ‘sprint’ category – more than 20km per hour.
Also, in the final, the USA’s Lauren Holiday ran more than any other player, racking up 12.718 kilometres.
“The physical preparation of players is vital to ensure they are following the right kind of conditioning programmes, including the most effective training at the appropriate age, thereby accruing maximal gains,” said Dawn Scott, a FIFA Instructor and the Women’s National Team Fitness Coach & Sport Performance Director at US Soccer.
“The physical analysis of the Women’s World Cup includes a unique opportunity to determine the physical match demands at the highest level of women’s football. By disseminating such information, players and coaches of all levels will have a better understanding of the match demands at the elite level, which in turn will help them to plan and prepare optimally for match performance.”