Player Status Module: Recovery scores

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Player Status Module: Recovery scores

In the last two blogs, we have discussed how the Player Status Module supports you in designing a training program with the ideal amount of training load and ideal variation of training load within a week. However, knowing what the players have done is not the only aspect that is integrated within the module. Receiving feedback from the players on how well they are recovered, and therefore, on how they are responding to the training program is of utmost importance as well. In this blog, we will go into more detail about how the Player Status Module uses recovery scores to analyze whether the players are responding well to the training program.

Within a team, it is often impossible to have a talk with all the players to track down how all the players feel and whether they are fatigued. With the use of recovery questionnaires, you obtain feedback from the players on these aspects daily. In the morning after a training session, the players fill in recovery forms (fatigue, muscle soreness, mood, stress, and sleep quality) in the JOHAN Team Performance app. By checking these recovery scores, you do not only get insights into which players are fatigued (or experience muscle soreness), and therefore possibly need their training program adjusted, you can also see which players experience high levels of stress. This might support your decision to sit down with the player and have a talk.  

Now that we have seen how recovery scores can help you, it is important to know how the data is analyzed. Since there is quite some inter-individual variation in how players score the recovery questionnaires, the data is analyzed on an individual basis. The inter-individual differences mean that some players always fill in scores of 2 to 4 on the recovery scores, therefore, when they score a 5 or higher this should warn you that the players are less recovered than normal. In contrast, other players always score 4-6 on muscle soreness (see figure 1). Hence, when they score a 7 or higher, this should alert you. To control for these differences, the Player Status Module analyses the usual scoring-tendency of a player, and when the player deviates from this tendency an alert will show up.

Figure 1: Example of inter-individual differences in scoring-tendencies

But what are you going to do when an alert on one of the recovery scores shows up? Sometimes you want to expose your players to high training loads and push the boundaries. When a detection on one of the recovery values shows up then, this means you have succeeded. However, you should also make sure that these high scores will not proceed for a prolonged period, as this will overload the players. Planning a lower-intensity session after a high-intensity session is, therefore, the way to go. GPS-data can further support you in determining how to adjust training load. In contrast, if a player reports high values on the recovery scores without you aiming to push the boundaries, this likely indicates an overload on the player. Try to implement extra recovery strategies (massage, foam rolling session), and if this is not sufficient to lower the recovery values, reduce the training load for the player.

Conclusion

The Player Status Module does not only analyze what the players have done (GPS-data) but also analyzes how the players are responding to this training program (recovery scores). Since there are quite some inter-individual differences in how the players score the recovery questionnaire, the data is analyzed on an individual basis. When a player deviates from his/her normal scoring-tendency, this will be shown as a detection. Based on the detections and the goals you have in mind for the week, you can determine whether you are going to adjust the training program, implement an extra recovery strategy, or if you need to sit down with the player to have a talk. The data is there for the insights, you are the one to act upon it!