The purpose of this study was to examine the concurrent and construct validity of the Borg (0–10) and children’s OMNI scales for quantifying the exercise intensity and training load (TL) in youth soccer players.
Twelve children (mean ± SD age 11.4 ± 0.5 y, height 154.3 ± 6.5 cm, body mass 39.5 ± 5.4 kg) took part in this study. Exercise intensity and TL were calculated on the basis of the session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) and heart rate (HR; Edwards method) during 20 technical-tactical training sessions. Players’ sRPEs were obtained from the Borg and OMNI scales.
Low correlations between HR-based TL and sRPE TL based on the Borg (r = .17, P = .335) and OMNI (r = .34, P = .007) scales were obtained. Significant (P < .001) relationships in sRPE (r = .76) and TL (r = .79) between RPE scales were found.
The current data do not support the relationship between the sRPE and HR methods for quantifying TL in youth soccer players. However, the sRPE method could be considered a better indicator of global internal TL, since sRPE is a measure of both physical and psychological stress. In addition, the authors demonstrated the construct validity for the OMNI scale to control exercise demands.