Monitoring training load using acute:chronic workload ratio (ACWR) enables coaches to maximize fitness potential while mitigating injury risks by maintaining an optimal ACWR range. There are two methods of determining ACWR: rolling average (RA) and exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA). This study aimed to (1) compare weekly changes in kinetic energy (KE) output in female youth athletes (n = 24) during the high school (HSVB) and club volleyball (CVB) seasons and (2) evaluate the agreement in RA and EWMA ACWR calculations during the HSVB and CVB seasons. Weekly load was measured using a wearable device, and RA and EWMA ACWRs were calculated using KE. The HSVB data showed spikes in ACWR at the onset of the season and during one week mid-season (p = 0.001-0.015), but most weeks were in the optimal ACWR range. The CVB data had greater weekly variations throughout the season (p < 0.05), and many weeks were outside of the optimal ACWR range. There were moderate correlations between the two ACWR methods (HSVB: r = 0.756, p < 0.001; CVB: r = 0.646, p < 0.001). Both methods can be used as a monitoring tool for consistent training like that in HSVB, but more research is needed to investigate appropriate methods for an inconsistent season like that of CVB.
Keywords: athlete monitoring; team sports; youth athletes.