Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Player profiles Dashboard – Template

At the moment I am working on an Excel database and dashboard for tracking performance and screening data and creating a player profiles (dashboards).

Theoretically, this should help me devise individualized training focus (does this guys need more core work, more mobility, speed, etc... how is he ranking to other guys... did he improved since last testing[1]?).

What I am struggling with at the moment is the connection between database (Excel sheet) and dashboard. I am trying to code a VBA solution to allow me flexibility and speed so I can quickly pull the data from the database and visualize it (hopefully without posting it in the range :) ).

I am posting the picture of the dashboard (template). I’ve used Stephen Few bullet graphs and basic line graph for trend/history. If anyone has any idea how to make this better – more readable, more understandable, better visualization – please let me know. 

Mladen's dashboard template

[1] Judging how much someone improved from performance test is my next project. The work by Will Hopkins and the new book by AIS should provide a lot of data and starting point.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Excel Tricks for Sports (YouTube channel)

I don't know why and how I haven't stumbled on this channel before - it is full of Excel tips for everyday sport coaches problems. Make sure to check it out. I want to thank Darcy Norman for giving me a heads up.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Olympic lifting matrix

I was training yesterday with a friend of mine, playing with GymAware Pro (with a Web support and BTW I am AMAZED how powerful this tool is) while doing olympic lifts. 

We were talking about different variations of the Olympic lifting (excluding the jerk) and I tried to explain to my friend the two criteria for the classifications: start position and catch position. What I came up with is the following matrix. I am not familiar if anyone wrote about this matrix before, but anyway I am posting it since I find it a nice tool to explain different variations of the lifts. 

If there is anything you love to add or critique or modify I would really love to hear it, so please be free to post it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Individualizing High-Intensity Interval Training in Intermittent Sport Athletes with the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test

Great article by Martin Buchheit I just stumbled upon. If you still wonder how to use scores of 30-15IFT and my IE20-10 test this article might give you a lot of ideas, although I already shared some starting percentages here

I just got the following full paper which is very interesting. If you have access you should definitely check this one out. I would love to see a third experimental group too – combined approach :)

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Oct;26(10):2712-2720.
Small-Sided Games Versus Interval Training in Amateur Soccer Players: Effects on the Aerobic Capacity and the Ability to Perform Intermittent Exercises With Changes of Direction.
Dellal A, Varliette C, Owen A, Chirico EN, Pialoux V.


1Department of Fitness Training and Research, Olympic Lyon FC (Soccer), Lyon, France 2Sport Science and Research Department, Orthopedic Health Clinic, Lyon, France 3Tunisian Research Laboratory "Sport Performance Optimization," National Center of Medicine and Science in Sport, Tunis, Tunisia 4Department of Sport Sciences, Center of Research and Innovation on Sport, University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, France 5Sports Science Department, Glasgow Rangers Football Club, Glasgow, Scotland.

ABSTRACT: Dellal, A, Varliette, C, Owen, A, Chirico, EN, and Pialoux, V. Small-sided games versus interval training in amateur soccer players: Effects on the aerobic capacity and the ability to perform intermittent exercises with changes of direction. J Strength Cond Res 26(10): 2712-2720, 2012-The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of small-sided games (SSGs) in soccer versus high-intensity intermittent training (HIT) on a continuous aerobic test (Vameval) and the performance in an intermittent test with changes of direction (CODs; 30-15 intermittent fitness test [30-15IFT]). Twenty-two amateur soccer players (mean age ± SD: 26.3 ± 4.7 years) were assigned to 3 different groups for 6 weeks: SSG group (n = 8), HIT group (n = 8), and control group (CG; n = 6). In addition to the usual technical and tactical sessions and competitive games, the SSG group performed 9 sessions of 2 versus 2 and 1 versus 1 SSGs, whereas the HIT group performed 9 sessions of intermittent runs in the form of 30 seconds of effort interspersed with 30 seconds of passive recovery (30s-30s), 15s-15s, and 10s-10s. The HIT and SSG groups showed performance improvements in the Vameval test (5.1 and 6.6%, respectively) and the 30-15IFT intermittent test with CODs (5.1 and 5.8%, respectively), whereas there was no change in the performance of the CG. Players from HIT and SSG groups showed similar increase in their performance in the 30-15IFT and the Vameval tests during the 6-week training period, especially with an increase significantly different to that in a traditional training as in the CG (p < 0.05). This investigation demonstrates that both SSG and HIT interventions are equally effective in developing the aerobic capacity and the ability to perform intermittent exercises with CODs in male amateur soccer players. Furthermore, these 2 methods of training applied during the 6 weeks induce similar effect on the recovery capacity and on the ability to repeat directional changes of 180°. Coaches will now be able to choose between these two methods according to the objective of the training and to optimize the training.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Injuries vs. Team success

I just read one recent study on relationship of injury rate to team standing at the end of the season. You can find the free full text HERE, but here is the abstract anyway.

Eirale C, Tol JL, Farooq A, Smiley F, Chalabi H. Low injury rate strongly correlates with team success in Qatari professional football. Br J Sports Med. 2012 Aug 17.

Using a prospective cohort study design, this study captured exposure and injuries in Qatar male elite football for a season. Club performance was measured by total league points, ranking, goal scored, goals conceded and number of matches won, drawn or lost. Lower injury incidence was strongly correlated with team ranking position (r=0.929, p=0.003), more games won (r=0.883, p=0.008), more goals scored (r=0.893, p=0.007), greater goal difference (r=0.821, p=0.003) and total points (r=0.929, p=0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: Lower incidence rate was strongly correlated with team success. Prevention of injuries may contribute to team success.

All studies of this kind are more than welcome. There is couple of them trying to show correlation between injuries[1] and team performance/season outcomes with not so clear relationship like this one.

My argument here is who is first – chicken or the egg? With observational studies we are not able to make any causation claims, even if it is common sense. We need experimental study, but that is very hard or nearly impossible to do in these scenarios.

So, the correlation claim should go two way – teams with lower injuries show better standing and teams with better standing show lower injuries. Thus the causation claim from studies like this should also be two-way: if you want a better success as a team reduce injuries AND if you want reduced injuries you better be a successful team. Without experimental study we don’t know what caused what – that’s the way correlation works. We don’t know what the change in one variable will yield in another. Hence the importance of learning statistics.

Suppose your team is on a winning spree. How do you feel? Awesome. How does this affect your stress levels and ability to sustain loads? Positively.

Suppose your team is on a losing spree. How do you feel? Like s*it. How does this affect your stress levels and ability to sustain loads? Negatively.

Thus the same physical workload in those scenarios will yield different reactions and thus different injury potential (IMHO). Hence my comment that if you want to decrease injuries you better play good :). Yes, the data from the study like this can be used as a proof for this claim.

I would love to do a point biserial correlation between wellness score 3-days after a game and game outcome (win, loss, draw), but I don’t have much data at the moment to make it valid. That might give some insights about the influence of the game outcomes on the perception of wellness and even training loads (if you track sRPE), and also correlate injuries with both of those data (we can also use some psychological tests of personality as moderator and even some screening tests). This is still observational, but it might give some more significant data. Idea for the study anyone?

[1] There are a lot of ways to quantify injuries, from time loss to occurrence, from over-use to contact ones. And each of them has pros and cons.