Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 366 - 371

Research article
The Use of Generic and Individual Speed Thresholds for Assessing the Competitive Demands of Field Hockey
David Casamichana1, , Esther Morencos2, Blanca Romero-Moraleda3,4, Tim J. Gabbett5,6
Author Information
1 Faculty of Education and Food. Universidad Europea del Atlántico, Santander, Spain
2 Exercise and Sport Sciences, Education and Humanities Faculty, Francisco de Vitoria University, UFV, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid
3 Education and Healthy Faculty, Camilo José Cela University, Madrid, Spain.
4 Laboratory of Exercise Physiology Research Group, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
5 Gabbett Performance Solutions, Brisbane, Australia
6 University of Southern Queensland, Institute for Resilient Regions, Ipswich, Australia

David Casamichana
✉ Department of Health and Food, Faculty of Education and Sport. Universidad Europea del Atlántico, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 22-01-2018
Accepted: 11-05-2018
Published (online): 14-08-2018
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The current study compared the running demands of professional field hockey players using individualized speed zones and generic default settings of the GPS manufacturer. In addition, the differences in slow, moderate and fast players were studied. Sixteen male players from the same club participated in the study (age: 25.5 ± 2.9 years; body mass: 74.6 ± 5.5 kg; stature 1.77 ± 0.05 m). The peak speed of each participant was established at the end of the data collection period by analyzing all training and playing data throughout the season. Using players peak speed achieved for each participant during the season, individualized speed zones were retrospectively applied to all match-play data. Peak speed was used to categorize players into three groups, slow (5 players: 29.2-30.2 km·h–1), moderate (6 players: 30.7-31.5 km·h–1) and fast (5 players: 32.2-33.7 km·h–1). Significant differences were observed between generic and individual thresholds for the distance covered in moderate, high, and very high-speed running in all positions (p = 0.01). Our findings show that the distances covered at high-speeds in midfielders and forwards were overestimated, while the very high-speed running and sprinting in backs were underestimated. Generic speed thresholds should be used if comparisons between positions is of importance. However, based on the different capacities of field hockey players, individual speed thresholds may be more suitable when addressing the relative stress on individual athletes.

Key words: global positioning system, planning, training, time motion, team sport

           Key Points
  • Generic and individual speed thresholds may be useful to practitioners there are differences in peak speed capabilities of players.
  • Generic speed thresholds are useful when determining the absolute stress imposed on players while individual speed thresholds based on peak velocity may be more suitable when addressing the relative stress on individual players.
  • The use of individual speed thresholds reduces the overestimation of distances covered at high speeds in midfielders and forwards, and reduces the underestimation of high speed distance and sprinting in backs.
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