Sports Medicine

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 353–364 | Cite as

Half-Time Strategies to Enhance Second-Half Performance in Team-Sports Players: A Review and Recommendations

  • Mark Russell
  • Daniel J. West
  • Liam D. Harper
  • Christian J. Cook
  • Liam P. Kilduff
Review Article


A number of intermittent team sports require that two consecutive periods of play (lasting for ~30–45 min) are separated by a 10–20 min half-time break. The half-time practices employed by team-sports players generally include returning to the changing rooms, temporarily relaxing from the cognitive and physical demands of the first half, rehydration and re-fuelling strategies, addressing injury or equipment concerns, and receiving tactical instruction and coach feedback. However, the typically passive nature of these actions has been associated with physiological changes that impair performance during the second half. Both physical and cognitive performances have been found to decline in the initial stages of subsequent exercise that follows half-time. An increased risk of injury has also been observed during this period. Therefore, half-time provides sports scientists and strength and conditioning coaches with an opportunity to optimise second-half performance. An overview of strategies thought to benefit team-sports athletes is presented; specifically, the efficacy of heat maintenance strategies (including passive and active methods), post-activation potentiation, hormonal priming, and modified hydro-nutritional practices are discussed. A theoretical model of applying these strategies in a manner that compliments current practice is also offered.


Blood Glucose Concentration Soccer Player Glycaemic Index Sprint Performance Ergogenic Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no potential conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Russell
    • 4
  • Daniel J. West
    • 1
  • Liam D. Harper
    • 1
  • Christian J. Cook
    • 2
  • Liam P. Kilduff
    • 3
  1. 1.Health and Life SciencesNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle-upon-TyneUK
  2. 2.School of Sport, Health and Exercise SciencesBangor UniversityBangorUK
  3. 3.Applied Sports Technology Exercise and Medicine Research Centre (A-STEM)Swansea UniversitySwanseaUK
  4. 4.Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Health and Life SciencesNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle-upon-TyneUK

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