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Christopher M. Young, Paul B. Gastin, Nick Sanders, Luke Mackey and Dan B. Dwyer

Context:

The activity profile of competition and training in elite netball has not been comprehensively reported in the literature.

Purpose:

To measure and analyze player load in elite netballers during matches and training sessions. The primary research question was, How does player load vary between playing positions in a match and between matches and training sessions?

Methods:

Various measures of player load were recorded in 12 elite professional netballers with a mean ± SD age of 26 ± 4.9 y and height of 183.2 ± 8.7 cm. Player load was assessed using a published method that uses accelerometry. Load was represented as total load in arbitrary units (au), playing intensity (au/min), and relative time spent in each of 4 playing intensity zones (low, low to moderate, moderate, and high). Data from 15 games and up to 17 training sessions were analyzed for each player.

Results:

Player load in matches for the goal-based positions (goal shooter, goal keeper, and goal defense) tended to be lower than the attacking and wing-based positions (goal attack, wing attack, wing defense, and center). The difference was largely due to the amount of time spent in low-intensity activity. Playing intensity of matches was greater than in training sessions; however, the total time spent in moderate- to high-intensity activities was not practically different.

Conclusions:

Accelerometry is a valuable method of measuring player load in netball, and the present results provide new information about the activity profile of different playing positions.

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Timothy J.H. Lathlean, Paul B. Gastin, Stuart V. Newstead and Caroline F. Finch

Purpose: To investigate the association between player wellness and injury in elite junior Australian football players over 1 competitive season. Methods: Prospective cohort study. Elite junior Australian football players (N = 196, average age = 17.7 y, range = 16–18 y) were recruited in the under-18 state league competition in Victoria, Australia. They recorded their wellness (sleep, fatigue, soreness, stress, and mood) according to a 5-point Likert scale 3 times weekly, with injuries (missed match/training session) entered into an online sport-injury surveillance system. A logistic generalized estimating equation was used to examine the association (expressed as odds ratio [OR]) between wellness and injury (yes/no). Results: Soreness was associated with injury at each time point across the week, with the strongest association evident for soreness reported 6 d postmatch (OR = 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17–1.44; P < .001). Stress and injury were associated with injury for average stress values across the week, as well as specifically on day 1 postmatch (OR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.01–1.21; P = .038). Mood reported in the middle of the week (3 d postmatch) was associated with injury (OR = 0.87; 95% CI, 0.78–0.97; P = .014), as was fatigue (OR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.00–1.22; P = .044). Conclusions: This study demonstrates key associations between wellness and injury in elite junior Australian football, specifically soreness, stress, fatigue, and mood. Monitoring strategies help identify injury-risk profiles, which can help decision makers (coaches or medical staff) intervene when relevant to reduce injury risk.

Open access

Pitre C. Bourdon, Marco Cardinale, Andrew Murray, Paul Gastin, Michael Kellmann, Matthew C. Varley, Tim J. Gabbett, Aaron J. Coutts, Darren J. Burgess, Warren Gregson and N. Timothy Cable

Monitoring the load placed on athletes in both training and competition has become a very hot topic in sport science. Both scientists and coaches routinely monitor training loads using multidisciplinary approaches, and the pursuit of the best methodologies to capture and interpret data has produced an exponential increase in empirical and applied research. Indeed, the field has developed with such speed in recent years that it has given rise to industries aimed at developing new and novel paradigms to allow us to precisely quantify the internal and external loads placed on athletes and to help protect them from injury and ill health. In February 2016, a conference on “Monitoring Athlete Training Loads—The Hows and the Whys” was convened in Doha, Qatar, which brought together experts from around the world to share their applied research and contemporary practices in this rapidly growing field and also to investigate where it may branch to in the future. This consensus statement brings together the key findings and recommendations from this conference in a shared conceptual framework for use by coaches, sport-science and -medicine staff, and other related professionals who have an interest in monitoring athlete training loads and serves to provide an outline on what athlete-load monitoring is and how it is being applied in research and practice, why load monitoring is important and what the underlying rationale and prospective goals of monitoring are, and where athlete-load monitoring is heading in the future.