Relationship Between Pretraining Subjective Wellness Measures, Player Load, and Rating-of-Perceived-Exertion Training Load in American College Football

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Context: The relationship between pretraining subjective wellness and external and internal training load in American college football is unclear. Purpose: To examine the relationship of pretraining subjective wellness (sleep quality, muscle soreness, energy, wellness Z score) with player load and session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE-TL) in American college football players. Methods: Subjective wellness (measured using 5-point, Likert-scale questionnaires), external load (derived from GPS and accelerometry), and s-RPE-TL were collected during 3 typical training sessions per week for the second half of an American college football season (8 wk). The relationship of pretraining subjective wellness with player load and s-RPE training load was analyzed using linear mixed models with a random intercept for athlete and a random slope for training session. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) denote the effect magnitude. Results: A 1-unit increase in wellness Z score and energy was associated with trivial 2.3% (90% confidence interval [CI] 0.5, 4.2; SMD 0.12) and 2.6% (90% CI 0.1, 5.2; SMD 0.13) increases in player load, respectively. A 1-unit increase in muscle soreness (players felt less sore) corresponded to a trivial 4.4% (90% CI −8.4, −0.3; SMD −0.05) decrease in s-RPE training load. Conclusion: Measuring pretraining subjective wellness may provide information about players’ capacity to perform in a training session and could be a key determinant of their response to the imposed training demands American college football. Hence, monitoring subjective wellness may aid in the individualization of training prescription in American college football players.

Govus is with the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden. Coutts and Duffield are with Sport & Exercise Discipline Group, University of Technology (UTS), Sydney, Australia. Murray and Fullagar are with the Dept of Athletics (Football), University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.

Fullagar (hughf@uoregon.edu) is corresponding author.
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