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Table 2 Statements/questions posed to EFP-Group regarding Sprinting and HSR and corresponding consensus/no consensus achieved

From: Exercise-Based Strategies to Prevent Muscle Injury in Male Elite Footballers: An Expert-Led Delphi Survey of 21 Practitioners Belonging to 18 Teams from the Big-5 European Leagues

Statement (based on content analysis from each round) Number of respondents in the final agreement (%) Number of respondents who did not agree (%) Round introduced Round where consensus was achieved Specific comments from the EFP-Group
Sprinting and HSR targeted training should be based on a players’ ‘individual’ max speeds rather than the factory set absolute thresholds 16 (94) 1 (6) 3rd 3rd 17/18 responded
Sprinting and HSR training should ideally and where possible, be integrated into the coaches’ football training drills 16 (89) 2 (11) 3rd 3rd No specific comments
It is appropriate to use specially designed football drills and/or generic running drills to ensure Sprinting and HSR targets are met 18 (100) 0 (0) 3rd 3rd No specific comments
Concerning starters, in a week with 6 full days recovery between matches (e.g. Saturday to Saturday) the most appropriate day to perform specific Sprinting and HSR is on Matchday − 3 (M + 4) 14 (78) 1 (6) 2nd 3rd 3 (17%) respondents neither agreed nor disagreed
While the majority agreed this is appropriate, 4 experts within the ‘yes’ group
Highlighted that while they agreed, there were also other options such as M − 4
Concerning starters, in a week with 5 full days recovery between matches, M − 3 (M + 3) is the most appropriate day to perform sprinting and HSR exercise 14 (78) 0 (0) 2nd 3rd 4 Experts neither agreed nor disagreed—they specified that it is an option, but also other times may be suitable and can be dependent on a number of factors including the coaches plan for sessions, whether single or double sessions will be performed
Concerning starters, in a week with ≥ 5 days recovery between matches, the ideal target of Sprinting and HSR GPS metrics to reach is 100% of the player’s worst-case match scenario 12 (71) 5 (29) 2nd 3rd 17 responses included in the analysis
1 respondent stated not using a specific % threshold
Concerning starters, during weeks with ≤ 4 days recovery it is not necessary to perform any targeted Sprinting and HSR exercise. The reason given was that players should reach their individual targets during matches (if playing full to most of the matches) 16 (89) 1 (6) 2nd 3rd 1 (6%) neither agreed nor disagreed—it was specified that players do not always reach their maximums in matches and should be monitored carefully and adjust the week plan accordingly
Non-starters/non-playing squad players should be prescribed additional Sprinting and HSR exercises on either M + 1 or M + 2 (but not both) 14 (78) 1 (6) 2nd 3rd 10 (56%) also specified that after the match is a possibility. It depends on the training and match schedule for the upcoming week. 3 neither agreed nor disagreed
Concerning starters, in a week with ≥ 5 days recovery between matches, what is the minimum target of Sprinting and HSR GPS metrics to reach in regards to the player’s worst-case match scenario See comment box for specific details on responses 2nd No consensus after 4 rounds Seven (41%) respondents recommended a minimum weekly target of 50–74%, 2 (12%) stated 75–84% and seven (41%) suggested 85–100%, while 1 person (6%) proposed anything > 60%
  1. HSR high-speed running, GPS global positioning system