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Call for coordinated and systematic training load measurement (and progression) in athlete development: a conceptual model with practical steps
  1. Mark Booth,
  2. Rhonda Orr,
  3. Stephen Cobley
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Mark Booth, Faculty of Health Sciences, Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW 1825, Australia; mark.booth{at}

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The recent IOC consensus statement1 on youth athletic development highlights how the careers of many youth athletes are often temporarily halted or derailed by overuse injuries, resulting from disproportionate training loads along with insufficient rest and recovery. Training volume and intensity2 as well as excessive training doses predict specific injury types.3 Recently, the acute: chronic workload ratio has shown how inappropriate short-term increases in training load are associated with heightened injury risk.4 Further, chronic exposure to inappropriate training volume is associated with further deleterious outcomes.2 ,5 ,6

Challenges and common pitfalls in measuring load

Empirical evidence exists suggesting that systematic regulation of training loads across the various stages of development occurs in some sport contexts. However, we suspect disparity and inconsistency in the quality of training load regulation across sport contexts and organisations. In some it may be inadequate, possibly lead by intuitive dogmatic approaches (ie, the ‘more is better’ ethos), whereas in other contexts or organisations such monitoring may simply not exist. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.