European Journal of Sport Science: Video Abstract

The organised chaos of English adolescent rugby union: Influence of weekly match frequency on the variability of match and training loads
Padraic J. Phibbs, Ben Jones, Gregory Roe, Dale Read, Joshua Darrall-Jones, Jonathon Weakley, Andrew Rock & Kevin Till

DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2017.1418026
@PadraicPhibbs @EurJSportSci

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Video transcript start:

The aim of this research was to identify the week to week variability of match and training loads on adolescent rugby union players across the regular school rugby season and to investigate the effect of match frequency on the distribution of loads across different activities.

sRPE data from all training and matches was collected from 20 academy rugby union players every day for a 14 week period using a web-based daily training log questionnaire. Mean weekly combined match and training sRPE was 1425 arbitrary units (AU) with a mean week to week change of 497 AU.

This equated to a between player CV of 10% and a within player CV of 37%. Additionally, 40% of weekly observations fell outside of the suggested ‘safe zone’ were acute chronic workload ratios.

Strength and conditioning and other organised recreational activity loads were reduced as much frequency increased. However, we found that on field rugby training increased with match frequency with the exception of during pre-match weeks.

Therefore, the findings of this study suggest that weekly match and training loads are highly variable for adolescent rugby union players during the competitive phase of the season. The match frequency has a substantial effect on the distribution of these loads. Therefore, training load should be coordinated, monitored and managed on an individual basis of these athletes. Training load should be increased during weeks of low competition demands and decreased during weeks of high competition demands. This will help to reduce the overall variability of training, protect players from negative training consequences, and also to promote long-term athletic development. 

Video transcript end.


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