The relationship between ratings of perceived exertion, training load, and types of deliberate practice in ice hockey training

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Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) are used in team sport settings to measure the perceived exercise intensity of training. Coaches may use measures of RPE as a method to monitor training load to ensure athletes are being sufficiently challenged without overtraining. However, limited published evidence exists evaluating the use of differential RPE (dRPE) in ice hockey. Further, there is a need to understand the impact of practice design on training, and if coaches and athletes perceive the demands of training equally. This study aimed to evaluate multiple domains of training in collegiate women’s ice hockey. Specifically, this study examined the relationship between RPE and dRPE, the impact of practice microstructure on RPE, coach-athlete RPE congruency, and a descriptive approach to training load. Results suggest that dRPE significantly explains the variance seen in RPE, that coaches and players show strong congruence, and that more research is required on practice microstructure.