Pre-game perceived wellness highly associates with match running performances during an international field hockey tournament
Centre for Excercise and Sport Science Research / School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study examined the associations between pre-game wellness and changes in match running performance normalised to either (i) playing time, (ii) post-match RPE or (iii) both playing time and post-match RPE, over the course of a field hockey tournament. Twelve male hockey players were equipped with global positioning system (GPS) units while competing in an international tournament (six matches over 9 days). The following GPS-derived variables, total distance (TD), low-intensity activity (LIA; <15 km/h), high-intensity running (HIR; >15 km/h), high-intensity accelerations (HIACC; >2 m/s2) and decelerations (HIDEC; >−2 m/s2) were acquired and normalised to either (i) playing time, (ii) post-match RPE or (iii) both playing time and post-match RPE. Each morning, players completed ratings on a 0–10 scale for four variables: fatigue, muscle soreness, mood state and sleep quality, with cumulative scores determined as wellness. Associations between match performances and wellness were analysed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Combined time and RPE normalisation demonstrated the largest associations with Δwellness compared with time or RPE alone for most variables; TD (r = −0.95; −1.00 to −0.82, p = .004), HIR (r = −0.95; −1.00 to −0.83, p = .003), LIA (r = −0.94; −1.00 to −0.81, p = .026), HIACC (r = −0.87; −1.00 to −0.66, p = .004) and HIDEC (r = −0.90; −0.99 to −0.74, p = .008). These findings support the use of wellness measures as a pre-match tool to assist with managing internal load over the course of a field hockey tournament.