Russell, Mark, West, Daniel J., Harper, Liam D., Cook, Christian J. and Kilduff, Liam P. (2015) Half-Time Strategies to Enhance Second-Half Performance in Team-Sports Players: A Review and Recommendations. Sports Medicine, 45 (3). pp. 353-364. ISSN 0112-1642

The competitive demands of numerous intermittent team sports require that two consecutive periods of play are separated by a half-time break. Typically, half-time allows players to: return to the changing rooms, temporarily relax from the cognitive demands of the first half of match-play, rehydrate, re-fuel, attend to injury or equipment concerns, and to receive tactical instruction and coach feedback in preparation for the second half. These passive practices have been associated with physiological changes which impair physical and cognitive performance in the initial stages of the second half. An increased risk of injury has also been observed following half-time. On the day of competition, modification of half-time practices may therefore provide Sports Scientists and Strength and Conditioning Coaches with an opportunity to optimise second half performance. An overview of strategies that may benefit team sports athletes is presented; specifically, the efficacy of: heat maintenance strategies (including passive and active methods), hormonal priming (through video feedback), post-activation potentiation, and modified hydro-nutritional practices are discussed. A theoretical model of applying these strategies in a manner that compliments current practice is also presented.

Half Time Review Manuscript.pdf - Accepted Version

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