Strength and conditioning training blog


Author: Matt Ross
athletes training on running track
Load management is an important aspect of team sport performance, as it involves monitoring and adjusting the physical workload of athletes to minimize the risk of injury and optimize performance.

Why do we need to test my groin strength and calf flexibility? This question was derived from some baseline testing done at Gippsland Power Football Club. At the beginning of each season, we test all athletes groin strength, via a groin squeeze along with a knee-to-wall measurement testing mobility of the ankle and calf. Why? - to give us a baseline measurement to track throughout the season to optimise performance via load management.

Whilst measuring ankle mobility – “How is touching my knee against a wall going to help my footy?”. It won’t. However, there is a reason we do it.
Often, athletes travel a long way to attend training and usually go through heavy, intense pre-season training. Therefore, it has become crucial over the years to track athlete wellness, internally and externally. With heavier loads than athletes are used to and long periods of sitting in the car, at work or at school, this can lead to an increase in soreness they aren’t accustomed to. If athletes are reporting fatigue or soreness, we will re-assess their groin strength and ankle/calf mobility to determine their readiness to train and perform.
We typically make decisions based on a score of 10% from baseline measurement. If athletes are reporting scores greater than >10% away from their baseline, they will be checked thoroughly by the physiotherapist who will then determine how much training should be completed, to ensure readiness for game day. Although these basic tests will not directly assist an athlete’s ability on the field or training track, it gives the athletic performance and medical staff more information on each athlete and allows them to keep track of all athlete’s well-being. As an example, if athletes are not reporting soreness and skipping these basic measures and progress into full training, they may be putting themselves at an elevated risk of injury. These measures are in place to prevent this, and continually have the athlete’s best prepared for game day.

More on load management.

In team sports, athletes are often subjected to high levels of physical activity during training and competition, which can result in fatigue, muscle soreness, and an increased risk of injury. Load management involves carefully monitoring an athlete's training and competition schedule, and adjusting the workload as necessary to ensure that they are not overexerting themselves.

By implementing load management strategies, coaches and trainers can help reduce the risk of injuries such as muscle strains, tendonitis, and stress fractures, which can sideline athletes for weeks or even months. Additionally, load management can help optimize performance by ensuring that athletes are not fatigued or overtrained, which can negatively impact their speed, power, and agility.

Overall, load management is an important component of team sport performance, as it allows athletes to train and compete at their highest level while minimizing the risk of injury and optimizing performance. By carefully monitoring and adjusting an athlete's workload, coaches and trainers can help ensure that their team is in top physical condition and ready to perform at their best.
Matt Ross strength and conditioning coach

about the author

Matt is an experienced and qualified trainer who works with athletes of any age to achieve their sporting goals and improve athletic performance.

Matt develops custom, elite training programs that focus on strength and conditioning training and athletic performance.

To work with Matt, get in touch.

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Strength and conditioning coaching.
Based in Melbourne, servicing regional Victoria.
Contact for a custom program for your club or team.
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