Multiple object tracking (MOT) is a cognitive process that involves the active processing of dynamic visual information. In athletes, MOT speed is critical for maintaining spatial awareness of teammates, opponents, and the ball while moving at high velocities during a match. Understanding how MOT speed changes throughout the course of a competitive game may enhance strategies for maintaining optimal player performance. The objective of this study was to examine changes in MOT speed and running performance during a 90-minute intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT). A secondary purpose was to examine the relationship between aerobic capacity and changes in MOT speed. Seven competitive female soccer players age: 20.4 ± 1.8 y, height: 166.7 ± 3.2 cm, weight: 62.4 ± 4.0 kg, VO2max: 45.8 ± 4.6 ml/kg/min-1 ) completed an intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT) on a Curve™ non-motorized treadmill (cNMT). The iSPT was divided into two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime [HT] interval, and consisted of six individualized velocity zones. Velocity zones were consistent with previous time motion analyses of competitive soccer matches and based upon individual peak sprint speeds (PSS) as follows: standing (0% PSS, 17.8% of iSPT), walking (20% PSS, 36.4% of iSPT), jogging (35% PSS, 24.0% of iSPT), running (50% PSS, 11.6% of iSPT), fast running (60% PSS, 3.6% of iSPT), and sprinting (80% PSS, 6.7% of iSPT). Stand, walk, jog and run zones were combined to create a low-speed zone (LS). Fast run and sprint zones were combined to create a high-speed zone (HS). MOT speed was assessed at baseline (0 min.) and three times during each half of the iSPT. Dependent t-tests and Pearson correlation coefficients were utilized to analyze the data. Across 15-minute time blocks, significant decreases in distance covered and average speed were noted for jogging, sprinting, low-speed running, high-speed running, and total distance (p's < 0.05). Players covered significantly less total distance during the second half compared to the first (p = 0.025). Additionally, significant decreases in distance covered and average speed were observed during the second half for the sprint and HS zones (p's ≤ 0.008). No significant main effect was noted for MOT speed across 15-minute time blocks. A trend towards a decrease in MOT speed was observed between halves (p = 0.056). A significant correlation was observed between the change in MOT speed and VO2max (r = 0.888, p = 0.007). The fatigue associated with 90 minutes of soccer specific running negatively influenced running performance during the second half. However, increased aerobic capacity appears to be associated with an attenuation of cognitive decline during 90-minutes of soccer specific running. Results of this study indicate the importance of aerobic capacity on maintaining spatial awareness during a match.

Graduation Date





Wells, Adam


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Educational and Human Sciences

Degree Program

Sport and Exercise Science









Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)