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Training with the pressure on

If Melbourne Storm walk off the field this season with a premiership cup held high, the victory may have been helped by a training technique developed at Victoria University.

VU sports scientist Dr Grant Duthie devised a training system for athletes that takes the use of GPS to another level and uses the data collected in such a way that training intensities can be efficiently and accurately tailored to players’ requirements. 

Over the last 10 years Dr Duthie has been collecting GPS data on the peak running intensities of elite Rugby League competition to quantify the physical cost of running, accelerating and decelerating during a game.

The data was then analysed to develop tactical periodised training requirements during game specific drills.

“The idea is to prepare players during training for the most intense and demanding periods of competition,” says Dr Duthie.

The system monitors the volume, intensity and nature of work performed by individual players.

“A lot of other GPS monitoring looks at quantifying what the players have done. It is descriptive. This system looks at what players can do as opposed to what they can’t do. Training is prescribed, rather than described,” says Dr Duthie.

“It brings together the technical and tactical aspects of the game.”

Dr Duthie says that the system also creates pressure in the training environment.  “Players are competing against each other and themselves. There has to be pressure in the training, otherwise it doesn’t transfer to the game.”

A significant advantage of the method is that acceleration and deceleration on the playing field can be analysed.

“Coaches can then ensure that the players get these elements included appropriately in their training to prepare them for the realities of the game.  Similarly to a car driving on an open country road compared to a busy city street, per kilometre you burn more fuel in the city because you are constantly stopping and starting.  Therefore we need to quantify this stopping and starting during team sports.

“The objective is to maximise the efficiency of the training,” he says.

Dr Duthie is Performance Analyst with Melbourne Storm and liaises with Dean Benton, the Director of Performance for the club.


Media contact
Beverley Johanson
Phone: +61 3 9919 5561
Email: [email protected]

For interview contact
Dr Grant Duthie
Phone: +61 3 9919 5498
Email: [email protected]



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