Team sport is a broad term that refers to sports in which a group of people participate in a game. This includes soccer, basketball, hockey and other popular sports, as well as more obscure activities such as soaring (or gliding).
Team-sport participation is socially relevant in the lives of many people. For high school students, it can be a great way to make friends and learn how to work together towards a common goal. It can also help them develop into supportive, understanding, patient and kind individuals.
In general, more injuries occur in team sports compared to individual sports because players must move around the field or court more often. In addition, coaches have less time to focus on individualized training in team sports.
Tracking systems provide metrics that can be used to examine the physical output of athletes during team-sport matches, but there are challenges in interpreting these metrics in terms of their ecological validity and specificity to a sport. For example, examining the total distance covered during a game is unlikely to detect periods of physical output that are far greater in intensity than the averaged total of all distances over a game .
Some metrics are more relevant than others for a particular sport and therefore need to be selected appropriately. A variety of factors may influence the selection of metrics, including playing dimensions, player density, position characteristics and game rules.
The most commonly reported metrics are the occurrences of distances at various speeds and the number of accelerations, decelerations and jumps performed during a game. These metrics are widely used in many team sports and are considered to be valuable for monitoring fatigue, movement adaptations and skill development, and injury risk reduction.
There are also a variety of other metrics that can be used to monitor training load. Some of these include the training impulse, session rating of perceived exertion, body load and high-speed distance. However, these metrics are only useful for small-sided games, whereas other modes of training, such as skills or wrestling, may require different measures of physical and skill load.
Similarly, the use of speed thresholds is an important consideration when examining tracking data for basketball, given that the court size limits the possibility of assessing the maximum velocity. Several data mining techniques have been proposed to identify appropriate thresholds for sprinting and high-speed running in basketball, including fitting Gaussian curves or k-means clustering, as well as spectral clustering.
A combination of these tracking parameters is essential to determine the level of external load and risk associated with a given training load. This can be achieved through live monitoring of the athlete’s performance during a training session or by reviewing retrospectively the sessions recorded by the tracking system.
Throughout the training cycle, performance staff put training plans in place to assist with achieving desired adaptations and responses. This requires clear communication between practitioners and coaching staff. Ideally, practitioners and coaches align and iteratively review the physical and tactical objectives throughout the planning process to ensure that all aspects of a team sport training cycle are being met. This process can be facilitated by incorporating monitoring data into planning.