“The Checkmylevel tests showed the readiness of an athlete for the games.” Petri Kettunen, Head Coach, Finland Men’s National Floorball
Petri Kettunen, Finland men’s national floorball team head coach of the 2016 world champions, made use of the data given by Checkmylevel during the important tournament. He wanted information about his athletes’ performance to find out their readiness for the games. Based on the results, he was able to make changes to his team’s line-up.
The tests pointed out sicknesses
The players carried out tests for two weeks. They started using Checkmylevel at a preparatory training camp, and then continued throughout the tournament week, doing the test every morning before breakfast. With the results, the head coach and the medical staff were able to monitor the athletes’ performance and the actual state of their body. The athletes themselves were not allowed to see their test results.
“The tests gave us the confirmation and assurance we were looking for about the state of the athlete’s body. During the week, some players fell sick, and Checkmylevel spotted these cases. The readings were extremely useful – with their help we knew in advance who needs to focus on getting better and take a day off,” Petri says.
Understanding the training needs
This time, the team applied the Checkmylevel test results only during the actual tournament week. According to Petri, using the product on a daily basis throughout the year would give the greatest benefits to athletes and coaches. The data would tell them how the athlete’s body responds to and endures different modes of training, also providing them with a better understanding of the training needs.
“When you combine these results to the other data available, we get the fullest possible picture of the status of an athlete’s body. This way we can count on each player being ready for the important games when they begin,” Petri says.“The Checkmylevel tests showed
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”Knowing the training readiness is key for optimal and smart performance.” Francisco J. Albert Garcia, Physical Coach, Real Valladolid CF
Francisco J. Albert, Ph.D. in Sports Medicine, is the strength & conditioning coach of Real Valladolid CF. He has also worked with a number of other teams, including Real Zaragoza, Real Club Celta de Vigo, CD Castellon and UD Salamanca.
One of the things he specifically stresses in training is the recovery process. Earlier, he had to rely solely on the athlete’s own evaluation of how they felt. Now he has used Checkmylevel for many years already, and it gives him just
the right tools to get objective data of the athletes’ training adaptation, helping him as a coach manage the training or competition load as needed.
Knowing the readiness of the athlete
Quite often fitness coaches tend to focus on the training load, but Fran
emphasizes the importance of the recovery process and the readiness of
an athlete. He points out that even though the athlete has had a day-off,
they may not have fully recovered yet.
“Using Checkmylevel helps me respect the balance between loading and
recovery to avoid prolonged fatigue and abnormal training responses. It
decreases the risk of injury and illness. Before Checkmylevel, I used to
keep track of sleep quality and quantity but that was not enough – there
are other factors that can influence the athlete’s recovery, too. Now, I can
monitor recovery and manage external and internal loads to optimally
configure training, competition and other loads to maximize performance
with minimal risk of injury,” says Fran.
Avoiding the risk of overtraining
Fran measures the athletes twice a week: first after a resting day and then just
before the weekend when the team usually has a match coming up. With the help
of the results, he gets to know what the recovery status of a player is and how
they can take in a training session or a match. By adjusting the training plan, he
can help them avoid overtraining and injuries.
“Checkmylevel is a reliable way to analyze the readiness of each athlete based
on the recovery level of their muscle system. We can find out if the athlete is in an
optimal condition considering performance. That’s extremely valuable because
poor load management could also be a major risk factor for injury,” Fran says.
As sports is becoming increasingly professional, coaches need to try new methods instead of relying on the same systems as always before says Head Coach Dr. David Cook, Norwegian National Taekwondo Team
When Dr. David Cook started working with the Norwegian National Taekwondo team he had a clear mission in mind:
to improve the level of the Norwegian National team so that qualification and success in Rio 2016 were realistic goals.
Quite quickly, however, he realized that even though he knew in principle what a professional athlete needs to develop and succeed, the complex nature of the human system and the many environmental interactions meant that ‘theory-in-practice’ required much more. They would lose important training days if they didn’t have a greater understanding of the athlete’s body and responses to training modality and load.
Gaining valuable information about recovery
As sports is becoming increasingly professional, coaches need to try new methods instead of relying on the same systems as always before. When David heard about Checkmylevel, he got really interested in the neuromuscular approach, which could provide important information about the state of neuromuscular fatigue.
“I have now used the system for over a year. Nowadays, I start my days by looking at the morning readings and they help me adjust the training for each athlete individually. Without Checkmylevel I would not be able to make as informed a decision with respect to athlete recovery. This type of information is very important for me as a coach” says David.
Pre-plan the training days and get better results
For the team, one of the concrete results of Checkmylevel has been avoiding
illnesses. As the human body is very complex, athletes don’t always feel
what’s going on in their bodies. Because of the daily measurements, David can get data from the actual state of an athlete’s body and pre-tune the training days accordingly.
“Of course, Checkmylevel is not the answer to everything, but for a lot of
coaches and athletes it can truly improve perspectives on training. It’s crucial
to know when you can work out hard and when you should take it easy.
Checkmylevel gives you a combined quantitative-qualitative measure which
is easy to understand and helps you in making decisions about how to train”
“Daily measurements show the actual state of the body and help you
adjust the training plan.”
Dr. David Cook
Head Coach Norwegian Taekwondo Team
We have had questions how Checkmylevel can help athletes and coaches. Here is some thoughts from Dr. Dave Cook whose team uses Checkmylevel.
In January 2013 the Norwegian martial arts federation, Kampsport, implemented the first ever full-time national Taekwondo system in response to the rapid increase in professionalism of this Olympic sport. As such this system encompassed the first ever full-time Norwegian National Taekwondo team with the aim to qualify and be successful in Rio, 2016.
At a similar time the sport of Taekwondo entered a new chapter with the implementation of regular World ranking international competitions (almost bi-weekly) and an additional Grand Prix series. When this is coupled with major championships, such as the World and European Championships, European games and the Olympic games the notion of general periodisation structures are somewhat redundant.
In order to facilitate optimal performance in such a schedule it is important to have a quantified perspective of the respective athletes and more importantly their recovery status between training and competition performance.
After reviewing the market for devices that may provide such information an interesting and somewhat unique approach came to the fore in the guise of the CHECK system. Having had equivocal experiences with using heart rate systems for similar profiles I was very interested in the more neuromuscular approach taken by the CHECK system. As such the norwegian national team has been using the team package offered by Checkmylevelsince the beginning of 2015, the start of a very important year with respect to Olympic qualification.
In this time the system has enabled me to effectively individualise recovery patterns through assessment of ’readiness’ and the constructs that form this measure. This is of particular importance during the tapering period prior to competition and such importance is magnified when athletes are required to ’cut’ weight. Furthermore, the stability of signal has given insight in to the possible occurrence of infection, enabling a quick referal to medical assessment.
The CHECK system has already proved itself to be a very useful tool to help inform decisions specific to indivual athletes in term of recovery, intensity of training and health.
Dr Dave Cook
Norwegian National Taekwondo Team.
Hope this will aswer some of the questions how you or your athletes can benefit from using Checkmylevel.
Are You Overtraining?
The biggest problem in sport is not overtraining, but overreaction to fatigue and improper management. Fatigue is not the enemy, but an important part of the training process. Without fatigue, the body has no reason to adapt and get better, so fatigue is a necessary part of the equation. Fatigue is not a simple reaction to training and competition; it is a complex array of responses that trigger changes to different organs and systems of the body. Scientists and coaches have debated the causes and methods that best measure fatigue for years, and solutions in recovery have been even less agreed on. In this article we will fully explain overtraining, from the response after a CrossFit workout to an entire season of an athlete who is struggling to get out of a hole.
The Super-compensation Model and Recovery
View full article →
"Trend forecasting is much like archeology but to the future.” - Lidewij Edelkoort
Supporting a small group or entire team roster with player monitoring, is a growing demand with coaches and other support staff now. In order to reveal direction to what the data is saying, teams are looking to other fields and their use of statistics for an advantage. Unfortunately typical statistical analysis isn’t always sport appropriate, because combining human biology and sports training is unique. Several teams are investing into very expensive business intelligence tools and statistical analysis software, a good idea on paper, but in our experience an imperfect solution. When managing large amounts of player data, there is a temptation to aggregate or merge all the data to see relationships. The central repository approach is very popular because most teams realize the interaction of all variables is likely to be the cause of trends and patterns. The problem with merging too much data is that our eyes can get lost with information overload, so just the right amount of information is a better choice. Teams can still collect all the data they need, but management is not collecting as much as possible, but organizing and visualizing the right data.View full article →
Player monitoring is growing in professional sport, but many teams are realizing that not all physiological readiness products work as promised. Even the ideal system may not work as well as advertised, and coaches are left wondering what to believe. What makes our blog unique is that we proudly display data of real athletes, something our competition struggles to do. The reason we openly share player scores? Athletes believe in the system and commit to using CHECK™, and we work with teams and coaches to ensure our system is deployed properly. Coaches are starting to figure out that if a blog or online article shows no data, it’s likely the system is not being used, and marketing is driving interest, not usage.View full article →
This blog entry focuses on training for the skeleton event during the late summer of 2013, with one athlete who was on holiday without his coach. The recorded training diary demonstrates the precision and sensitivity of the CHECK™ system when assessing neuromuscular fatigue from speed and power training. The athlete involved used the system over 26 days during and exhaustive training regimen. For privacy purposes the nationality and athlete’s name was anonymous for the article.View full article →
When you feel tired, the source of that feeling may be coming from your brain. A popular theory of fatigue is that intense training causes central fatigue, a pattern of tiredness coming from the upper centers of the nervous system, or the brain. Central fatigue is getting a lot of interest with coaches and athletes, because it may provide a way to guide training by measuring it. Scientists have believed that central fatigue is a major player in causing poor performance and even be a culprit to injuries. In this blog we will cover topics such as central nervous system fatigue, Electroencephalography (EEG), and muscle inflammation. In addition to those subjects, we will go head to head with EEG approaches and share why we created CHECK™ to get a better way to gage fatigue of the neuromuscular system.View full article →
If one looks at all of the available research and products on the market, getting lost in what is the best way to assess fatigue is easy. More and more options are available to coaches and fitness enthusiasts today, and making the decision on what can be used daily requires a brief primer on the science of testing fatigue. What is accurate and practical? Does the test measure what it’s supposed to measure? How does the information make better decisions? In this entry, we will explain what are the best options in assessing fatigue and why our option stands at the top for athletes wanting to push themselves to the limit.View full article →