What is “LOAD MANAGEMENT”?
How can programs use load management to improve performance.
Load management is a term that’s gained notoriety over the last half decade or so as it’s crept into the coaching vernacular of various sports around the world. The concept is simple, measure the amount of training load placed upon your athletes so that you can better design training plans to allow athletes to both peak at the right time, as well as stay on the court or field by mitigating injury risk. The latter portion is the key. Do not over train, or under train.
Dr. Tim J Gabbett, from the School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, describes the ‘Training-Injury Prevention Paradox’ model. This is a phenomenon where athletes accustomed to high training loads have fewer injuries than athletes at lower training loads. To reach this point Dr. Gabbet coined the term acute to chronic work load. The acute work load is what the player has done recently in the past 7 dates compared to the past 28. For example, an athlete jumps 100 times in 28 days and 100 times in 7 that players acute to chronic workload is a ratio of 1. The ideal ratio to keep players healthy while training harder is between .8- 1.3. Once a player goes below a .8 or above a 1.3, research has shown there to be an increase injury risk.
So how does one apply load management? The most effective way in the sport of Volleyball has been with jump count, a simple, validated means of monitoring player training load. VERT Performance Lab, along with Dr. Kerry MacDonald, the Director of Sports Medicine at Volleyball Canada, have been working hard the past 5 years on standardizing a means of balancing training load so that players can get the reps they need without going overboard. “Over the past 5 years of research has led us to this. [With VERT] objective data is now available to keep athletes strong and keep them playing,” said Dr. MacDonald during the latest AVCA Time Out Webinar.
“Data is only useful if it is usable”, David Gil, Performance Lab Director at VERT emphasized.
“Collecting jump, landing and other workload metrics without a plan of how to use it is like treading water, but with the Acute to Chronic workload and other standardized reports, coaches can now easily and effectively plan using actionable, objective data’” added Gil. monitoring jump counts and landing impact.
Understanding load the workload demands on your athletes is critical to creating an effective plan. With Volleyball, VERT has collected millions of jumps from hundreds of programs and thousands of matches, so coaches know exactly what their athlete’s need to be able to handle come game-time.
At the high end, here is a position by position breakdown of what a long 5 set match could look like:
Middle Blockers: 160
Outside Hitters: 130
6-Rotation Player: 180
Those are the numbers athlete’s need to be able to handle, those are the numbers they’re training for. By properly building athlete capacity up to those numbers using concepts such as the acute to chronic workload, programs will continue to improve on-court performance by ensuring their athlete’s are healthy and exceptionally prepared for competition.
With VERT Technology and the groundbreaking research conducted by leaders in sports science such as Dr. Kerry MacDonald, the sport of volleyball will continue to advance in athlete care, development and performance.
Interested in learning more about VERT products, studies or how we can monitor your team?
Email us today and schedule a call with David Gil, Performance Lab Director at VERT.