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What the Research Says

Self-reported wellness and wellbeing measures are important in youth sport for several reasons. Firstly, these measures provide valuable insights into the subjective experiences and perceptions of student athletes, allowing coaches and teachers to understand their mental and emotional states (3). This is crucial because psychological factors play a significant role in youth sport performance and overall wellbeing (2). By monitoring self-reported measures such as mood, stress motivation, and perceived wellness, coaches can identify signs of overtraining, staleness, or psychological fatigue (2). This information can then be used to adjust training programs and prevent negative health outcomes and poor performance. Compared to objective measures, subjective self-reported measures have been found to be more sensitive and consistent in reflecting acute and chronic training loads. They can capture the immediate impact of training on an athlete's wellbeing and provide a more comprehensive understanding of their overall state. In addition, objective measures, such as physiological markers and biochemical tests, may not always capture the nuances of an athlete's experience or their psychological responses to training (3). 

 

The Implementation of self-reported measures into a school sports programme can be influenced by various factors. In 2021, It was found that the willingness of athletes to report their experiences and the perceived value of the monitoring process were highly important factors. Athletes may be more likely to engage in self-reporting if they understand the purpose and benefits of the monitoring and if they trust that their responses will be used to inform training decisions (1). Additionally, the ease of data collection and the availability of user-friendly tools can facilitate implementation. This was highlighted in 2015, with a move to technology being preferred by modern day athletes and staff. Software features such as automated data collection and presentation were considered time efficient, allowing staff to keep on top of the data easily. Similarly, athletes preferred to respond quickly on scales rather than text, with multiple pages and the number of mouse clicks leading to a high number of complaints  (4). Coaches and practitioners should also consider the cultural and contextual factors that may influence athletes' willingness to report their experiences (1). 

 

In terms of design, self-report measures should capture a wide range of psychological factors, including mood, stress, motivation, and overall wellbeing (3). Regular and consistent monitoring throughout the training cycle is crucial to detect changes in wellbeing and to inform timely interventions (2).

 

In conclusion, self-reported wellness and wellbeing measures are important in youth sport as they provide valuable insights into the psychological factors that influence performance and overall wellbeing. Subjective self-reported measures have been found to be more sensitive and consistent in reflecting training loads compared to objective measures. Factors influencing the implementation of self-reported measures include athletes' willingness to report, the perceived value of monitoring, and the availability of user-friendly tools. By incorporating self-reported measures into a school sports programme, coaches and teachers can better support the mental and emotional health of young athletes and optimise their performance. 

 

References: 

 

  1. Lee, D., So, W., Lee, S. (2021). The Relationship Between Korean Adolescents’ Sports Participation, Internal Health Locus Of Control, and Wellness During Covid-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 6(18), 2950.
     

  2. Morgan, W., Brown, D., Raglin, J., O'Connor, P., Ellickson, K. (1987). Psychological Monitoring Of Overtraining and Staleness. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 3(21), 107-114. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.21.3.107
     

  3. Saw, A., Main, L., Gastin, P. (2015). Monitoring the Athlete Training Response: Subjective Self-reported Measures Trump Commonly Used Objective Measures: A Systematic Review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 5(50), 281-291.
     

  4. Saw, A. E., Main, L. C., & Gastin, P. B. (2015). Monitoring athletes through self-report: factors influencing implementation. Journal of sports science & medicine, 14(1), 137.

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