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117 Perceptions of training load and wellness monitoring of stellenbosch university high performance student-athletes
  1. Lindsay Starling1,2,
  2. Grant Van Velden3,
  3. Sean Surmon1,2,3,
  4. Wayne Derman1,2,
  5. James Craig Brown1,2
  1. 1Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Division of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. 2IOC Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
  3. 3Maties Sport, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Background The effective monitoring of athletes can assist in optimising their performance. This monitoring is particularly important in university student-athletes who have academic stressors additional to their training. The Stellenbosch University High Performance programme manages the top student-athletes and have implemented a training load and wellness monitoring system to assist with this.

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the student-athletes’ perceptions of this monitoring system and identify potential barriers to their adherence to the programme.

Design Cross-sectional survey.

Setting Students (young adults) who were part of the Stellenbosch University High Performance programme in 2019.

Patients (or Participants) All 156 High Performance athletes across six sporting codes received the survey, of which 146 (96%) submitted a complete survey.

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) A six-question survey was distributed via the programme manager to the student-athletes (n=156).

Main Outcome Measurements Four of this survey’s questions were based upon a study conducted in nine elite U.K. athletes and two additional questions were specific to the Stellenbosch High Performance context. Results were presented as frequencies on the original studies Likert scale.

Results Half (50%, n=74) of all athletes agreed that they received sufficient feedback from the data that they entered. Almost half (46%, n=69) agreed that sufficient action was taken by their Strength and Conditioning trainers when they indicated a meaningful change in their monitoring scores. Almost all (97%, n=144) athletes agreed that they responded honestly to training monitoring questions. About two-thirds (67%, n=100) of athletes agreed that training monitoring and feedback helped to optimise their training performances.

Conclusions The Stellenbosch High Performance student-athletes were substantially more positive about training monitoring than the elite UK athletes. This positivity bodes well for the Stellenbosch High Performance programme, but also highlights the importance of regular feedback to these student-athletes.

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