Differential Ratings of Perceived Match and Training Exertion in Girls’ Soccer

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To understand the validity of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) as a measure of girls’ training and match internal loads. Methods: Using the centiMax scale (CR100), session dRPE for breathlessness (sRPE-B) and leg muscle exertion (sRPE-L) were collected across a season of training (soccer, resistance, and fitness) and matches from 33 players (15 [1] y). Differences and associations between dRPE were examined using mixed and general linear models. The authors’ minimal practical important difference was 8 arbitrary units (AU). Results: Mean (AU [SD] ∼16) sRPE-B and sRPE-L were 66 and 61 for matches, 51 and 49 for soccer, 86 and 67 for fitness, and 45 and 58 for resistance, respectively. Session RPE-B was rated most likely harder than sRPE-L for fitness (19 AU; 90% confidence limits: ±7) and most likely easier for resistance (−13; ±2). Match (5; ±4) and soccer (−3; ±2) differences were likely to most likely trivial. The within-player relationships between sRPE-B and sRPE-L were very likely moderate for matches (r = .44; 90% confidence limits: ±.12) and resistance training (.38; ±.06), likely large for fitness training (.51; ±.22), and most likely large for soccer training (.56; ±.03). Shared variance ranged from 14% to 35%. Conclusions: Practically meaningful differences between dRPE following physical training sessions coupled with low shared variance in all training types and matches suggest that sRPE-B and sRPE-L represent unique sensory inputs in girls’ soccer players. The data provide evidence for the face and construct validity of dRPE as a measure of internal load in this population.

Wright, Songane, and Weston are with the Dept of Exercise and Sport, Paramedic and Operational Departmental Practice, and Chesterton, the Dept of Physiotherapy, Sports Rehabilitation, Dietetics and Leadership, School of Health and Social Care, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom. Emmonds and Mclaren are with the Carnegie Applied Rugby Research Centre, Inst for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom. Mclaren is also with the England Performance Unit, Rugby Football League, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Wright (m.wright@tees.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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