The Use of Generic and Individual Speed Thresholds for Assessing the Competitive Demands of Field Hockey

Casamichana D., Morencos E., Romero-Moraleda B., Gabbett T.J.

This study investigated the running demands of professional field hockey players by comparing the use of individualized speed zones with generic default settings provided by the GPS manufacturer. Sixteen male players from the same club participated, with their peak speed established based on training and playing data collected throughout the season. Individualized speed zones were retrospectively applied to match-play data using each player’s peak speed. Players were categorized into slow, moderate, and fast groups based on their peak speed.

Significant differences were found between generic and individual thresholds for the distance covered in moderate, high, and very high-speed running across all positions. Specifically, distances covered at high speeds by midfielders and forwards were overestimated, while very high-speed running and sprinting by backs were underestimated.

The study suggests that while generic speed thresholds may be suitable for comparing positions, individual thresholds may better reflect the varied capacities of field hockey players and provide a more accurate assessment of the relative stress on individual athletes.

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