The present study assessed the influence of movement demands resulting from weekly practice sessions and games, on perceived wellness measurements taken post-game (Sunday) and 48 hours pre-game (Thursday) throughout the in-season period in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division I football players. Thirty players were monitored using GPS receivers (Catapult Innovations OptimEye S5, Melbourne, Australia) during 12 games and 24 in-season practices. Movement variables included low-intensity distance, medium-intensity distance, high-intensity distance, sprint distance, total distance, player load, and acceleration and deceleration distance. Perceived wellness, including fatigue, soreness, sleep quality and quantity, stress, and mood, was examined using a questionnaire on a 1-5 Likert scale. Multi-level mixed linear regressions determined the differential effects of movement metrics on perceived wellness. Post-hoc tests were conducted to evaluate the pair-wise differentials of movement and significance for wellness ratings. Notable findings included significantly (p<0.05) less player load, low-intensity distance, medium-intensity distance, high-intensity distance, total distance, and acceleration and deceleration distance at all intensities, in those reporting more favorable (4-5) ratings of perceived fatigue and soreness on Sunday. Conversely, individuals reporting more favorable Sunday perceived stress ratings demonstrated significantly (p<0.05) higher player load, low-intensity and medium-intensity distance, total distance, low-intensity and medium-intensity deceleration distance, and acceleration distance at all intensities than individuals reporting less favorable (1-2) perceived stress ratings. Data from the present study provide a novel investigation of perceived wellness associated with college football practice and competition. Results support the use of wellness questionnaires for monitoring perceived wellness in NCAA division I college football players.
Corresponding Author: Aaron Wellman, MS Bond University Queensland, AUSTRALIA