Browsing Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences by Journal
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The content and load of preseason field-based training in a championship winning professional rugby league team: A case studyThis study reports on the content and periodisation of the preseason field-based training for a professional rugby league team. Thirty elite male rugby league players (26 ± 5 y, 180.9 ± 6.5 cm, 94 ± 9 kg) completed an 8-week preseason. Global positioning system devices and heart rate were used to monitor physical and physiological responses of different field-based training components (speed, conditioning, rugby skill and game-based training). Rugby skill training contributed the most to total distance covered, conditioning was the greatest contributor to high-speed running (>15 km.h-1) and game-based training provided the greatest high metabolic distance (>20 W.kg-1) and overall external load. Game-based training provided the greatest time with heart rate 80% estimated maximum. Field-based training comprised a 4-week increase in total distance, followed by a “regeneration week” in week 5 before a peak in load during week 6. The weekly pre-season cycle had lower loads on Monday and Thursday whereas Tuesday and Friday produced the highest loads. The preseason described herein adopted a progressive overload comprising a weekly undulating cycle. This study emphasises how skill and games-based training contributes significantly to the overall load of a professional rugby league team’s preseason with more traditional conditioning promoting high speed running load and high metabolic load.
The observational analysis of elite coaches within youth soccer: The importance of performance analysisThe study investigated the observational capabilities of experienced elite coaches whilst focusing upon soccer specific actions and playing positions within elite youth soccer. Six soccer coaches assessed the performances of 10 youth soccer players (across 8 matches) on their short/long passing, tackling, shooting, heading and dribbling. Analysis was undertaken on an overall, quality and positional grouping basis. Mean observational accuracy was 38.8%, with successful shooting (78.6%) and passing (29.9%) illustrating the range. The limited effective observation of dribbling (37.2%), often considered a separating factor within talent identification, highlights the need for objective measures to aid such processes. Positional grouping analysis elicited 20% more effective observation for unsuccessful compared with successful actions. The poor level of observational accuracy identified herein has significant implications on talent identification assessments devoid of post-performance analyses. The findings reinforce the importance of performance analysis in the provision of highly accurate and comprehensive augmented feedback within the coaching process.