Stress and Recovery Changes of Injured and Non-injured Amateur Representative Rugby League Players Over a Competitive Season
King, D; Clark, T; Kellerman, M; Hume, P
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Objective To monitor amateur representative rugby league players stress and recovery utilising the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) and the Recovery-Cue to identify which tool could differentiate which players were at a higher risk of an injury occurring during rugby league match and training activities. Methods Thirty male rugby league players in a premier division representative rugby league team participated in this study. The multidimensional RESTQ-Sport with 52 items (10-12 minutes completion) and the Recovery-Cue tool were used to measure the complexities of stress and recovery states in players at the selection of the team and following every scheduled match. Results During the 9 week study period (25 training sessions and 9 matches) 13 training injuries (13 per 1,000 training hours) and 39 match injuries (188 per 1,000 match hours) occurred for 30 amateur players. Over the matches, players who were subsequently injured in a match or training activity had significantly higher general- and sport-specific stress scale scores and lower general and sport-specific recovery scale scores of the RESTQ-Sport than non-injured players. Discussion The development of a shortened version of the RESTQ-Sport specifically related to the scales of Social Stress, Success, Personal Accomplishment, Fatigue, Emotional Exhaustion, Injury and Self-Efficacy may be beneficial in the identification of players at risk of injury and would be quicker to complete, limiting time away from the training environment. The study results support sports medicine practitioners utilising the RESTQ-Sport to systematically monitor stress and recovery of players.