Preventing Athlete Overtraining
It's inevitable that, at some stage in their sporting lives, athletes will play for multiple teams, in multiple environments. After all, it's crucial for athletes to experience multiple sports. However, with athletes committing to multiple teams/sports, and each coach demanding maximum effort, this often leads to athletes becoming stretched as they ultimately “overtrain”. Put simply, overtraining occurs when an athlete constantly trains with too high a level of intensity and doesn't allow adequate recovery time. This in turn can lead to fatigued or injured athletes.
In your role as a strength and conditioning coach, it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of the training loads of every athlete you oversee. This is problematic when it comes to building programmes and making training adjustments, as you don't know which athletes are at their breaking point. So what's the solution?
The following is a relatively simple solution to help you track athlete workload, and at the same time, help your athletes understand their workload as well as identify when recovery is needed.
On a 7 day planner, take note of:
Each session your athletes complete
The duration of each session
Get your athletes to rate how intensely they trained for their sessions from 1 to 10 (RPE - rate of perceived exertion) Here's an article for more about RPE.
Then, for each day, calculate the load by multiplying the total time by the RPE score they recorded. For example:
Once you have each day’s total, add them together. In this example the total load is 3,560. Typically, total load should sit between 3,000 and 4,000 for athletes under the age of 16. Ensure your athletes know they need at least one full day off every week to recover. You can then track this over time to ensure there are no abrupt changes week-to-week. Note that more experienced athletes can handle higher loads - you can still apply this technique, simply raise the total load parameters.
With this planner in place you'll be able to identify the athletes of key concern, make smarter training decisions and build tailored programmes. Get your athletes involved in the process and share the information with them in order to help them understand their training loads.
If the planner is a little too manual for your liking, check out our athlete development platform.
Komodo Monitr is the intelligent, easy to use athlete development platform that automates this process for you and your athletes to track and understand training loads easily. Through simple workload surveys and scheduling you can seamlessly gather the data you need. You can even integrate wearable devices to gather GPS data! Komodo Monitr then provides intelligent insights so you can make the necessary training adjustments to optimise performance and prevent injuries.