The aim of this investigation was to assess whether the demands of the modern English competitive soccer season would be reflected in the mood states of professional soccer players. Sixty-nine male participants either activity competing in English soccer leagues or resident in England were recruited and grouped accordingly as professional soccer players, university level soccer players, Sunday league soccer players, or non-sporting controls. On three separate occasions; at the beginning, at the middle, and finally towards the end of the English soccer season, participants completed both the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire as well as a questionnaire related to their teams' performance in addition to their perceived life stress. Results showed the POMS scores to differ over the season in relation to the groups' standard of competition. ANOVAs demonstrated this pattern to be significant for the dependent measures of tension, depression, and confusion with significant group by time interactions (95% level of confidence). At the outset of the season professionals had the most positive POMS profile, however, as the season progressed they showed the greatest change towards a negative profile. These results indicate that English soccer is placing professional players at a predisposition of demonstrating POMS commensurate with negative adaptation to training, having important implications for their long-term performance and health.
- Negative adaptation
- Training load