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Psychological assessment of overtraining

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Psychological tools are used in assessing overtraining because they are:
* Practical and quite reliable
* The results can be analyzed quickly
* Assumptions can be made on the individual or team level

Published in: Sports, Technology
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Psychological assessment of overtraining

  1. 1. OVERTRAINING SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY  Training planning and analysis tips  Rowing technique videos  Applicable bits of rowing research Jarek Mäestu Sports Scientist (PhD), Ex rower and rowing coach, Rowing Academy Scientist Psychological assessment
  2. 2. Overview In addition to clinical findings and metabolic values, the level of stress and recovery seems to reflect the clinical state of the athletes quite well. The presence of several psychological symptoms in cases of high load trainings has been recognized frequently, characterized mainly by increased negative moods. Psychological tools are used because they are: • Practical and reliable • The results can be analyzed quickly • Assumptions can be made on the individual or team level SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY
  3. 3. Profile of Mood States (POMS) By measuring five negative mood states (tension, anger, depression, fatigue and confusion) and one positive (vigor) POMS has frequently been used as a monitoring tool of athletic state during the training process. For example, those swimmers who responded well to the training program indicated lowered POMS scores when training load was decreased, but for overtrained swimmers the score continued to be high (Figure 1). Figure 1. POMS scores over the swimming season for overtrained and healthy rowers (data from Morgan et al. 1987). SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY It should also be noted that during overload training fatigue and vigor usually show the largest shifts, while depression generally has the smallest. But during overtraining syndrome, depression scores may increase the most.
  4. 4. The Recovery and Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) Research has also shown that stress and recovery are different in their time course and restricting the analysis to the stress dimension (i.e. POMS) alone is insufficient, especially in high-performance areas. The theory behind the RESTQ-Sport questionnaire is that accretion of stress in everyday life, coupled with weak recovery potential, will cause variation of the psychophysical general state. Nevertheless, high stress is tolerable if the athlete is able to recover from it. Figure 2 presents data from the high volume training camp of the international rowers (data form Mäestu et al. 2005) where an overtrained athlete indicated significantly increased stress scores compared to the whole group. Furthermore, most of his recovery scores were also decreased compared to others, meaning that he was unable to use different strategies to increase his recovery potential. This finally results in negative recovery stress state and decreased adaptation of the athlete. SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY
  5. 5. The Recovery and Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) Fitness/Injury Self Regulation Emotional Exhaustion Self-Efficacy Disturbed breaks Personal… Somatic Complaints Being in Shape Lack of Energy Sleep Quality Fatigue General Well-being Conflicts-Pressure Somatic Relaxation Overtrained athlete Social Relaxation Group Average Social stress Overtrained athlete Emotional stress Group average Success General stress 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 Figure 2. Scales of the RESTQ-Sport of an overtrained athlete versus group average in the group of rowers during a training camp after three weeks of high training volume. Left pane – stress scales, right pane – recovery scales SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY 5
  6. 6. Problems with psychological assessments • • • • Mood state and other factors can be influenced by stressors unrelated to excessive training or recovery Athletes may “learn” how to fill the questionnaire or may cheat if, e.g. their place in the team is at stake. Coaches should make sure that athletes answer the questions honestly. Psychological tests must be administered with appropriate instructional set (e.g. „last three days“, „today“, „last week including today“) based on the training paradigm. The „right now measurements“ should be approached with caution as they can strongly be influenced by secondary factors Coaches and athletes might sometimes be skeptic to use psychological tools SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY
  7. 7. References • Morgan WP, Brown DR, Raglin JS. Psychological monitoring of overtraining and staleness. British Journal of Sports Medicinev1987; 21: 107-114. • Mäestu J, Jürimäe J, Kreegipuu K, Jürimäe T. Changes in perceived stress and recovery during heavy training in highly trained male rowers. The Sport Psychologist 2006; 20: 24-39. SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY
  8. 8. Hey, before you go! Please Tweet, Like, +1 and share this presentation if you found it helpful or entertaining. Next slide: learn more about the Rowing Academy SPORTLYZER ROWING ACADEMY
  9. 9. More related reading • • • Overtraining syndrome (whitepaper) Markers of overtraining – performance tests (whitepaper) Self-assessment of overtraining (whitepaper) Sportlyzer Rowing Academy Sportlyzer Rowing Academy is No 1 source for rowing coaches looking for inspiration and ideas to: • • • make training plans more effective plan and analyze athletes' progress better learn from other coaches' experience Discover more

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