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Will Vickery, Ben Dascombe and Rob Duffield

Purpose:

To examine the relationship between session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) and measures of internal and external training load (TL) in cricket batsmen and medium-fast bowlers during net-based training sessions.

Methods:

The internal (heart rate), external (movement demands, PlayerLoad), and technical (cricket-specific skills) loads of 30 male cricket players (age 21.2 ± 3.8 y, height 1.82 ± 0.07 m, body mass 79.0 ± 8.7 kg) were determined from net-based cricket-training sessions (n = 118). The relationships between sRPE and measures of TL were quantified using Pearson product–moment correlations respective to playing position. Stepwise multiple-regression techniques provided key internal- and external-load determinants of sRPE in cricket players.

Results:

Significant correlations were evident (r = -.34 to .87, P < .05) between internal and external measures of TL and sRPE, with the strongest correlations (r ≥ .62) for GPS-derived measures for both playing positions. In batsmen, stepwise multiple-regression analysis revealed that 67.8% of the adjusted variance in sRPE could be explained by PlayerLoad and high-intensity distance (y = 27.43 + 0.81 PlayerLoad + 0.29 high-intensity distance). For medium-fast bowlers, 76.3% of the adjusted variance could be explained by total distance and mean heart rate (y = 101.82 + total distance 0.05 + HRmean – 0.48).

Conclusion:

These results suggest that sRPE is a valid method of reporting TL among cricket batsmen and medium-fast bowlers. Position-specific responses are evident and should be considered when monitoring the TL of cricket players.

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Kieran Cooke, Tom Outram, Raph Brandon, Mark Waldron, Will Vickery, James Keenan and Jamie Tallent

Purpose: First, to assess changes in neuromuscular function via alterations in countermovement-jump strategy after training and 2 forms of competition and second, to compare the relationship between workloads and fatigue in seam bowlers and nonseam bowlers. Methods: Twenty-two professional cricketers’ neuromuscular function was assessed at baseline, immediately post and +24 h posttraining, and after multiday and 1-day cricket events. In addition, perceptual (rating of perceived exertion [RPE] and soreness) measures and external loads (PlayerLoad™, number of sprints, total distance, and overs) were monitored across all formats. Results: Seam bowlers covered more distance, completed more sprints, and had a higher RPE in training (P < .05), without any difference in soreness compared with nonseam bowlers. Compared with seam bowlers, the nonseam bowlers’ peak force decreased post-24 h compared with baseline only in 1-d cricket (95% CI, 2.1–110.0 N; P < .04). There were no pre–post training or match differences in jump height or alterations in jump strategy (P > .05). Seam bowlers increased their peak jumping force from baseline to immediately posttraining or game (95% CI, 28.8–132.4 N; P < .01) but decreased between postcricket to +24 h (95% CI, 48.89–148.0 N; P < .001). Conclusion: Seam bowlers were more accustomed to high workloads than nonseamers and thus more fatigue resistant. Changes in jump height or strategy do not appear to be effective methods of assessing fatigue in professional crickets. More common metrics such as peak force are more sensitive.

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Adam J. Nichol, Edward T. Hall, Will Vickery and Philip R. Hayes

A widely accepted role of the sport coach is to elicit positive athlete ‘outcomes’ (e.g., enhanced performance, wellbeing, confidence etc.). However, evidence concerning the relationships between coaching practice and athlete outcomes is fragmented leaving researchers and practitioners little clarity to inform their work. Through a systematic search protocol and critique conducted through the lens of critical realism, this paper provides an overview of 208 English language peer-reviewed studies investigating relationships between coaching practice and athlete outcomes, and how current approaches may facilitate or hinder our understanding. Findings indicate research has predominantly utilised quantitative, cross-sectional or correlational approaches, with limited explicit consideration of paradigmatic influences. Discourse is dominated by psychological theorising (e.g., motivation), with studies generally employing single-method research designs and engaging a singular perspective (e.g., the athlete). Thus, we have a broad understanding of some coaching practice variables that may influence athlete outcomes (i.e., the what), but lack more interpretive and causal explanations of how and why practice is influential, accounting for the inherently complex and multi-faceted nature of the coaching process. Future research directions are proposed, which it is hoped will extend our understanding of the often intricate, heterogeneous influence of coaching practice, supporting coach educators and coaches.