The Influence of Training Load, Exposure to Match Play, and Sleep Duration on Daily Wellbeing Measures in Youth Athletes

Sawczuk T., Jones B., Scantlebury S., Till K.

This study assessed the influence of training load, exposure to match play, and sleep duration on two daily well-being measures in youth athletes. Forty-eight youth athletes (age 17.3 ± 0.5 years) completed a daily well-being questionnaire (DWB), the Perceived Recovery Status scale (PRS), and provided details on the previous day’s training loads (TL) and self-reported sleep duration (sleep) every day for 13 weeks (n = 2727).

Linear mixed models assessed the effect of TL, exposure to match play, and sleep on DWB and PRS. An increase in TL had a most likely small effect on muscle soreness (d = −0.43;± 0.10) and PRS (d = −0.37;± 0.09). Match play had a likely small additive effect on muscle soreness (d = −0.26;± 0.09) and PRS (d = −0.25;± 0.08).

An increase in sleep had a most likely moderate effect on sleep quality (d = 0.80;± 0.14); a most likely small effect on DWB (d = 0.45;± 0.09) and fatigue (d = 0.42;± 0.11); and a likely small effect on PRS (d = 0.25;± 0.09). All other effects were trivial or did not reach the predetermined threshold for practical significance.

The influence of sleep on multiple DWB subscales and the PRS suggests that practitioners should consider the recovery of an athlete alongside the training stress imposed when considering deviations in well-being measures.

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