Athlete monitoring practices in elite sport in the United Kingdom

Emma Claire Neupert, Luke Gupta, Tim Holder, Simon A. Jobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Athlete monitoring systems (AMS) aid performance optimisation and support illness/injury prevention. Nonetheless, limited information exists on how AMS are employed across elite sports in the United Kingdom. This study explored how athlete monitoring (AM) data, in particular athlete self report measures, were collected, analysed and disseminated within elite sports. Thirty elite sport practitioners representing 599 athletes responded to a survey on their AM methodologies. The majority, 83%, (n= 25) utilised an AMS, and a further 84% (n=21) stated the collection of their AMS data was underpinned by a scientific rationale. Athlete self-report measures (ASRM) were the most commonly employed tool, with muscle soreness, sleep and energy levels amongst the most frequently collected measures. The ubiquitous use of custom single-item ASRM resulted in considerable variability in the questionnaires employed, thus potentially impacting questionnaire validity. Feedback processes were largely felt to be ineffective, with 44% (n=11) respondents indicating that athletes did not receive sufficient feedback. Some respondents indicated that AMS data was never discussed with athletes and/or coaches. Overall, significant disparities exist in the use of athlete monitoring systems between research and elite sport practice, and the athlete, coach and practitioner experience of monitoring risks being poor if these disparities are not addressed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 30 May 2022

Keywords

  • Athlete monitoring
  • Self-report
  • Questionnaire
  • Validity
  • Elite

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