The Research Doesn’t Always Apply: Practical Solutions to Evidence-Based Training-Load Monitoring in Elite Team Sports

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

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Darren J. Burgess
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Research describing load-monitoring techniques for team sport is plentiful. Much of this research is conducted retrospectively and typically involves recreational or semielite teams. Load-monitoring research conducted on professional team sports is largely observational. Challenges exist for the practitioner in implementing peer-reviewed research into the applied setting. These challenges include match scheduling, player adherence, manager/coach buy-in, sport traditions, and staff availability. External-load monitoring often attracts questions surrounding technology reliability and validity, while internal-load monitoring makes some assumptions about player adherence, as well as having some uncertainty around the impact these measures have on player performance This commentary outlines examples of load-monitoring research, discusses the issues associated with the application of this research in an elite team-sport setting, and suggests practical adjustments to the existing research where necessary.

The author is with the School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Address author correspondence to dburgess@pafc.com.au.
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