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Monitoring the training process in professional rugby league

Project Member(s): Coutts, A.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club Limited (Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club)

Start year: 2013

Summary: Rugby league (RL) is a physically demanding high-intensity, intermittent team sport that is played in many countries worldwide including Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. There are two main professional competitions, the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia, and the English Super League (ESL). These competitions are characterised by an extended pre-season training period, the regular competition phase and the season culminates in a finals series to determine the overall champion. As such, players are involved in either training or playing for up 11 months of the year. While all professional clubs are interested in monitoring the physical load experienced by players, this project is collaboration between the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, with the aim of conducting research to improve the application of training dose-response measures to optimise the training process. This area of research has important implications for optimising the physical performance of professional RL players. Furthermore, improved training monitoring systems will enhance individual player welfare by minimising the potential disruption to training from injury and illness, which often arise during periods of excessive training. Aims: 1. Implement methods for quantifying training load (internal and external) for a variety of training types in professional rugby league players. 2. Validate methods (objective and subjective) for measuring fitness and fatigue responses of individual players to training stimulus during the season. 3. Develop a model to predict player physical performance based on measurements of training load, fitness and fatigue.

Keywords: training monitoring, fitness, fatigue, performance prediction

FOR Codes: Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified, Health not elsewhere classified