Teams of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Meet High Altitude

As the world’s eyes focus on South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, SportMedBC and SportMed Soccer continues to look at some of the soccer science and fitness talking points of the beautiful game.

How much of a challenge is the high altitude of South Africa? Some squads are going as far as blaming the altitude for their poor performances. Meanwhile, some players feel they’ve gone into the tournament underprepared.

SportMed Soccer digs a little deeper, looking at why altitude matters and what exactly players can do to adjust for the different conditions. 

Hear what Metrotown Physiotherapy’s Marc Rizzardo has to say.

 The Science of Sport also focuses on how timing and fitness is key.

“The stage has thus been set to discuss altitude and its effects on football performance.  In fact, it’s the perfect time, because I was just reading in a local paper that both Denmark and the Netherlands have blamed the altitude on their lackluster performances in Johannesburg on Monday. 

For football, the problem is that sprints are repeated over and over, with short recoveries.  It’s therefore a hybrid of the two extremes, and we have to jump straight in and find studies that have replicated repeated sprints to find out the impact of altitude.”

For more from the Sport Scientists, check out their story here.

SportMed Soccer is the resource centre for soccer parents, coaches and players, presented by BC Soccer and SportMedBC

Photo: Getty Images

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