Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 75 - 83   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2023.75

Research article
Daytime Napping Benefits Passing Performance and Scanning Activity in Elite Soccer Players
Masaki Nishida1,2, , Shuta Okano1, Atsushi Ichinose1,2, Shutaro Suyama1,2, Sumi Youn1,2
Author Information
1 Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University,
2 Sleep Research Institute, Waseda University, Japan

Masaki Nishida
✉ MD, PhD Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University. 2-579-15 Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192 Japan
Email: nishida@waseda.jp
Publish Date
Received: 11-04-2022
Accepted: 22-01-2023
Published (online): 01-03-2023
 
 
ABSTRACT

The present study explored the effect of a daytime napping opportunity on scanning activity, which is an essential component of successful soccer performance. Fourteen male elite collegiate soccer players performed the Trail Making Test (TMT), which was used to assess complex visual attention. In addition, a soccer passing test, modified with reference to the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test, was used to evaluate passing performance as well as scanning activity. A cross-over design was applied to examine nap and no-nap interventions. Participants (N = 14, mean age: 21.6 SD = 0.5 years, height: 1.73 ± 0.06 m, body mass: 67.1 ± 4.5 kg) were randomly allocated to a midday nap (40 minutes) or no-nap group. Subjective sleepiness was measured using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, and perceptive fatigue was evaluated by the visual analog scale. There were no significant differences in subjective measurements or TMT between the nap and no-nap groups. However, the performance time for the passing test and scanning activity was significantly shorter (p < 0.001) and scanning activity was significantly more frequent in the nap condition than in the no-nap condition (p < 0.00005). These results suggest that daytime napping is beneficial for soccer-related cognitive function, represented by visuospatial processing and decision-making, and particularly as a potential countermeasure to mental fatigue. Considering that inadequate sleep and residual fatigue are commonly observed in elite soccer, this finding may have practical implications for the preparation of players.

Key words: Nap, fatigue, sports, soccer, performance, scanning activity


           Key Points
  • The effect of daytime napping on passing performance, complex visual attention and scanning activity of elite collegiate soccer players were examined.
  • The speed of passing and scanning activity was significantly shorter in the nap condition than in the no-nap condition.
  • Scanning activity was significantly more frequent in the nap condition than in the no-nap condition.
  • Daytime napping is likely to benefit soccer-related cognitive function, represented by visuospatial processing and decision-making.
 
 
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