Monitoring fatigue status in elite team sport athletes: Implications for practice

R. T. (Robin) Thorpe, Gregory Atkinson, Barry Drust, Warren Gregson

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    The increase in competition demands in elite team sports over recent years has prompted much attention from researchers and practitioners into the monitoring of adaptation and fatigue in athletes. Monitoring of fatigue and gaining an understanding of athlete status may also provide insights and beneficial information pertaining to player availability, injury and illness risk. Traditional methods used to quantify recovery and fatigue in team sports such as maximal physical performance assessments may not be feasible in order to detect variations in fatigue status throughout competitive periods. The implementation of more quick, simple and non-exhaustive tests such as athlete self-report measures (ASRM), autonomic nervous system (ANS) response via heart rate derived indices and to a lesser extent jump protocols may serve as promising tools to quantify and establish fatigue status in elite team sport athletes. The robust rationalization and precise detection of a meaningful fluctuation in these measures are of paramount importance for practitioners working alongside athletes and coaches on a daily basis. There are various methods for arriving at a minimal clinically important difference (MCID), but these have been rarely adopted by sports scientists and practitioners. The implementation of appropriate, reliable and sensitive measures of fatigue can provide important information to key stakeholders within team sport environments. Future research is required to investigate the sensitivity of these tools to fundamental indicators such as performance, injury and illness.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2017


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