The topic of monitoring training load has been discussed several times on this blog. Though this concept has been around for quite some time, it is only recently that it’s wide spread usage, particularly at the collegiate level, is being adopted. Tracking training load suggests that the coaches are interested in maintaining the health of their athletes and truly developing and improving performance. This is in complete contrast to programs that fail to sufficiently monitor their athletes and simply replace injured and unhealthy players rather than taking the necessary steps to preserve them.
In a previous post, the session rating of perceived effort (sRPE) method and its validity were discussed. In today’s post, we will look at the results of a recent study that compared sRPE values reported by the players compared to sRPE values reported by the coaches. Rodriguez-Marroyo and colleagues (2013) collected the sRPE data from a team of twelve female volleyball players and their four male coaches over a fifteen week period. After practices and competitions, sRPE values were recorded on a 10 point scale and multiplied by the duration of the session in minutes. Weekly mean values were compared to determine the correlation between coaches and players perceptions of training load. The results showed that players and coaches reported very similar values of sRPE. Further, there was no significant difference between expert and beginner coaches reports sRPE values. It’s worth pointing out however that the players did report slightly higher sRPE values compared to coaches.
Though further research should seek to validate the coaches sRPE for monitoring training load in athletes of different sports and gender, this method of tracking subjective training load in athletes appears promising. This can be particularly useful for large roster teams for which collecting sRPE data each after each session may be difficult to acquire and analyze. This can also be useful in planning weekly training programs in effort to avoid the potential for overtraining. Perhaps coaches currently not monitoring training load may want to consider experimenting with reporting their own sRPE values for their athletes and see how it corresponds to performance, fatigue and injury levels.
Rodríguez-Marroyo, J. A., Medina, J., García-López, J., García-Tormo, J. V., & Foster, C. (2013). Correspondence between training load executed by volleyball players and the one observed by coaches. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, E-Pub Ahead of Print.