An Examination of the Relationship between Movement Demands and Rating of Perceived Exertion in Australian Footballers

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Journal Article
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2015, 29 (7), pp. 2026 - 2033
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© 2015 National Strength and Conditioning Association. This study aimed to determine whether a relationship existed between movement demands, match events, and perceptual match load, as determined by rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in professional Australian footballers. The movement variables were collected between 1 and 22 times using global positioning system units from 21 players during the 2011 and 2012 Australian Football League seasons. A range of movement demands and match events were collected to obtain a complete insight into the physical demands and work rates of these athletes. These data were separated into the high-load (HL, ≥9) and low-load (LL, ≤8) RPE groups. A Mann-Whitney U-test, independent samples t-test, and effect sizes were used to determine whether any differences existed between the 2 groups and the size of the difference. The results revealed that the HL groups covered more distance, spent more time, and produced more efforts at the high deceleration zone (2.4-6.7%). Further, the HL group had more possessions and disposals of the football than the LL group (9.2-29.6%). The findings have highlighted the importance of monitoring accelerations, decelerations, and instantaneous power outputs to obtain a comprehensive insight into the physical demands placed on team sport athletes. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that training sessions should involve a focus on drills that are composed of both skill development and physical stimulus element.
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