What we know?
- Anaerobic power, anaerobic capacity, trunk flexibility, endurance and motivation are better in the afternoon that in the morning.
- These data are not in football players but in cyclists and normal subjects.
- There is only one study in football players (Reilly et al., 2007, Chronobiology International 24:507-519).
- Football players were tested on different days at 08:00, 12:00, 16:00 and 20:00 h. Reaction time, flexibility and juggling were better at 16:00.
- No effect of day was observed in other tests, like dribbling.
- A number of teams in Europe train between 10:00 and 12:00 h. Most games start between 12:00 and 21:45 h.
What we do not know
- The effect of time of day on more football skills.
- The effect of morning training (08:00-10:00 h) on football performance while playing game in the afternoon (after 16:00).
- In football players, it seems that performance at certain physical and skill tests is better in the afternoon than in the morning.
- Data on football players are very limited.
- In other sports, accuracy of action has been shown to be better in the morning than in the afternoon (Edwards et al. 2005. Ergonomics 48: 1488-1498) and this should also be taken into consideration in training planning.