Training Status Indicators Predict Neuromuscular Control Alterations Over The College Men’s Soccer Season

David P Looney, Lindsay J DiStefano, Douglas J Casa, Robert A Huggins, Craig D Denegar, Tania B Huedo-Medina, Ryan M Curtis, Andrea R Fortunati, Hayley J Root, Samantha E Scarneo, Danielle M Watters, Chris A West


There is growing evidence supporting the link between overtraining and increased injury risk.  The Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) is a neuromuscular control assessment of 17 lower extremity biomechanical risk factors. However, there is paucity in the literature focusing on the LESS across the competitive Division-1 men’s college soccer season. This investigation sought to determine if significant changes in LESS scores occur over a competitive men’s soccer season and whether these changes coincide with common training status indicators. Twenty-six healthy Division-1 college men’s soccer players (age: 20 ± 1 yr, height: 181.5 ± 6.4 cm) were assessed for body mass (BM), resting heart rate (RHR), body fat (BF%), countermovement jump height (CMJ), and LESS at five experiment visits (V0-V4). A mixed effects model was analyzed to detect significant interactions between the LESS and each of the dependent variables. LESS scores were significantly elevated at V1 (p < 0.001), which was conducted at the end of preseason training. Additionally, RHR and CMJ were shown to be significant predictors of LESS performance (p = 0.003 and 0.040 respectively). Elevation in LESS scores following preseason training combined with the identification of RHR and CMJ further support the link between training status and injury risk. Periodic neuromuscular control assessments are essential for the optimization of performance and minimization of injury risk in college soccer athletes.


Neuromuscular Control, Soccer, Training Status, Sport Science

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