The Occurrence of Physical and Psychological Problems Among Japanese College Soccer Players: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

Naruto Yoshida, Hideaki Waki, Yoichi Minakawa, Shogo Miyazaki and Masaaki Koido

[Received October 9, 2020; Accepted March 16, 2021] 

Conditioning for injury prevention in soccer is important because of the high number of injuries. Many previous studies have focused solely on physical problems or solely on psychological problems. In this study, multiple factors were considered to gain a better understanding of the physical and psychological status of athletes. The current injury, current pain, ankle instability, fundamental pattern of movement, catastrophic thoughts of pain, daytime sleepiness, sleep dysfunction, and symptoms of anxiety and depression of Japanese male college soccer players were assessed. Among the 122 collegiate soccer players who completed all questionnaires and measurements, 43% experienced pain, 27% had injuries, 50% had ankle instability, 21% were restricted in their fundamental patterns of movement, 20% had catastrophic thoughts of pain, 48% experienced daytime sleepiness, 20% experienced sleep dysfunction, and 14% experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Only 11% of the athletes showed no physical or psychological problems. Eightynine percent had either a psychological or physical problem, and almost half of the cohort (48%) experienced both physical and psychological problems. This study demonstrated how difficult it is for athletes to reach their peak condition, as factors other than ‘skill’ also play a role in conditioning. Assessment of both physical and psychological aspects is needed to understand the conditioning status of athletes.

Keywords: psychological and physical condition, sports medicine, observation (cross-sectional) study, soccer, sports injury

[Football Science Vol.18, 22-30, 2021]