Brink, M. S., Visscher, C., Schmikli, S. L., Meeusen, R., & Lemmink, K. A. (2009). Psychomotor speed as Mmarker for overreaching in young elite soccer players. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2580.

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"Psychomotor slowness has recently been introduced as A marker for functional and nonfunctional overreaching in sport. Since overreaching is characterized by sport-specific performance decrement, research is needed that relates psychomotor speed to performance decrement. Furthermore, the effect of exercise should be known to verify if such a tool would be suitable for sport practice. Up to now, research has focused on individual sports. However, it can be argued that ball team-sport athletes differ in terms of information processing and motor action."

This study investigated if psychomotor speed before and after maximal exercise is a useful tool for classifying young elite soccer players with and without performance decrement. Soccer players (N = 11) with performance decrement of four up to eight weeks and controls (N = 8) were selected from 94 players who performed monthly submaximal Interval Shuttle Run Tests. Ss with a heart rate increase >4 bpm were classified as players with performance decrement. Prior to participation, a sports physician screened all Ss to exclude well-known causes of performance decrement. All Ss executed the Finger Precuing Task before and after a maximal exercise test on a treadmill.

No differences were found in mean time to exhaustion and maximal heart rate during the maximal exercise test between the performance decrement group and the control group. Reaction times were shorter after the test when compared to before but there was no between-groups difference.

Implication. Psychomotor speed (reaction time) does not appear to be a marker for overreaching in soccer players.

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