Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Rating of perceived challenge as a measure of internal load for technical skill performance
  1. Sharief Hendricks1,2,3,
  2. Kevin Till2,4,5,
  3. Jon L Oliver6,7,
  4. Rich D Johnston8,9,
  5. Matthew J Attwood6,10,
  6. James Craig Brown11,12,
  7. David Drake13,
  8. Simon MacLeod13,
  9. Stephen D Mellalieu6,
  10. Ben Jones2,4,5,14
  1. 1 Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. 2 Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  3. 3 Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Sport Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  4. 4 Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Football Club, Leeds, UK
  5. 5 Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club, Leeds, UK
  6. 6 School of Sport and Heath Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK
  7. 7 Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
  8. 8 School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  9. 9 Norths Devils Rugby Football League, Queensland, Australia
  10. 10 Cardiff Metropolitan University Rugby Union Football Club, Cardiff, UK
  11. 11 Institute for Sport and Exercise Medicine, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  12. 12 The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
  13. 13 Ulster Rugby, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  14. 14 The Rugby Football League, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sharief Hendricks, Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and the Sports Science Institute of SouthAfrica, Cape Town 7725, South Africa; sharief.hendricks01{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Whether we are developing young athletes, designing injury prevention programmes, preparing high-level athletes for competition or rehabilitating an athlete back to sport, the technical skill performance of the athlete(s) needs to be considered. Usually, technical skill performance is captured by training time (minutes), training frequency (number of sessions) or movement repetitions.1 However, this approach is limited by only assessing the external workload of the technical skill. Beyond the external workload, the athlete’s physiological and psychological response to the load can also be assessed (termed internal load).1 One commonly used internal load measurement is the rating of perceived exertion (RPE)—a 0–10 or 0–100 category ratio rating scale where the lower end represents rest and the upper end maximal effort. Typically, the RPE scale is used to capture the athlete’s global perceived experience of the physical work load. From a skill perspective however, this method provides little insight into the perceived technical demands of the movement(s). Weston and colleagues recognised this limitation and asked athletes to provide an RPE for the technical demand of matches and training (RPE-T).2 3 RPE scales, however, are proposed as general intensity scales.4 This characteristic, arguably, can be considered as both an advantage (can be used for various applications) or a disadvantage if …

View Full Text


  • Contributors SH drafted the first draft of the manuscript and all authors provided feedback and edits towards the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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