Graham Stark

By Graham Stark

About me

In my role as a Sport Scientist working for a Premier League football Club we are always seeking new ways to quantify and measure the condition of our players, particularly how well recovered they are and how ready they are to train.  After some extensive reading Heart Rate Variability (HRV) emerged as a possible variable that could be used to these ends, however very little research appears to be out there with regard to team sports.  Therefore as part of my MSc dissertation I am going to investigate whether or not HRV can be used as a predictor of how well an individual is going to train.

My Research

To begin with I’ll be using a small sample of players, probably 7 or 8, who will have their HRV measured each morning once they’ve arrived at the training ground.  This will then be compared to GPS data for each individual from the subsequent session.  Primarily I will be looking for a correlation between HRV score and the ‘quality’ of their physical output in training.  Of course I’d all love to be able to include technical and tactical performance as well, but in this context it’s just not possible to assess this subjectively.

Why I am using ithlete   

The appeal of ithlete for this research was instant.  It seems like the perfect tool to get an HRV measure as it’s quick, easy and doesn’t need extensive interpretation, ideal in a high pressure applied environment.  This will no doubt help with the data collection process, not only from my point of view as the researcher but also maintaining compliance from the players involved.

Thanks to the ithlete team

This research is really exciting me and I can’t wait to get some data and begin to see what results are emerging.  I must also place on record a quick thanks to ithlete who have been extremely supportive so far, their expertise will be invaluable in getting the most from the project going forward.

For up to the minute news on the research follow me on Twitter @gpstark