In this series, we’ll be introducing you to some of the coaches and staff taking advantage of the Firstbeat Sports solution to monitor training and recovery. We’ll get their personal view and experiences of how they use Firstbeat in their sport.
Name: Devan McConnell
Sport: Ice Hockey
Role: Director of Sports Performance
Team: UMass Lowell River Hawks
Why do you use Firstbeat Sports heart rate monitoring and reporting system with the UMass Lowell River Hawks hockey team?
The Firstbeat system is an integral part of our day to day training and monitoring system. We constantly utilize the data provided during training on and off the ice to make informed decisions about our players. This allows us to improve player development and ensure we are as prepared as possible for competition.
What specific feature or data point is the most useful to you as a Performance Coach and why?
The real time heart rate response information is a critical component in our training; we do a lot of work dictated by heart rate, and the ability to see that data in real time allows me as a coach to adjust the plan accordingly, and the player’s to autoregulate their activity to ensure maximum return on their work. The ability to record and track TRIMP is also hugely beneficial for us, as it allows us a way to evaluate the physiological load on a day to day and week to week basis, which helps us to plan and periodize all of our on and off ice activity. Also the Quick Recovery Test has been very beneficial to our program.
How do you apply the Quick Recovery Test?
I don’t do training decisions based on single measurement, but I would have to look more at trends. Have they been low for an extended time, or is it just a one or two day occurrence. Also, I will look at the situation we are in… If we are in an over-reaching period of our training plan, I might actually want them to be lower on their QRT.
We have used the QRT in conjunction with some of our other data to look for longer term trends as opposed to more of a day to day approach.
Other comments about Firstbeat Sports?
Having the ability to look at multiple physiological factors allows us to help our athletes compete at a high level, day after day. The support and feedback from the Firstbeat team has also been exceptional, and I am always impressed with the updates and education they constantly provide.
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