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Learning from sport burnout and overtraining
Learning from sport burnout and overtraining

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6.1 The reliability of monitoring

In a BBC radio programme, athletes debated to what extent individuals and squads ‘buy-in’ to the aim of monitoring; some even questioned the extent of their honesty when recording data.

Activity 6 Discussing athlete buy-in

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Listen to this clip of Sam Quek (hockey) in conversation with Eleanor Oldroyd (BBC presenter) and Steven Finn (cricket).

If you were asking a group of athletes to use a monitoring system such as the one discussed in the clip, what arguments would you put forward to persuade them?

[Note that ‘Pep’ in the clip is Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City football team at the time of broadcast.]

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Sam Quek makes the case for using the app on the grounds of achieving high personal standards and helping her avoid missing training unduly through injury. Being able to reduce the occurrence of injury is a huge bonus for any sport even if it is small reductions. The issues of trust and confidentiality would need to be raised and the personalised nature of the 1–10 scale ratings made clear. To make a coherent argument for such detailed monitoring it would be valuable for any coaches and medical professionals to explain how useful the information is and how, collectively, individuals and the whole team could benefit in terms of how they function, avoid injury and for their own well-being.

Ideally, an individual needs to put faith in the organisation acting in their genuine interests. An organisation hopes that monitoring will mean more athletes are available for selection, there are fewer athlete days off sick or injured, and there is less likelihood of athletes overtraining. However, as you saw at the start of the session, this is also increasingly recognised as an organisation’s duty of care.

The five insights you have studied in this session support your learning of the issues surrounding overtraining in terms of prevention, associated disorders, and how medical assessment and monitoring might be implemented.