Monitoring Overload in Athletes And Dancers

Jacques van Rossum (VU University, Amsterdam)

In recent years, an increased interest has been shown, both by practitioners and scholars, in the quantity of practice in the domain of sports. Ericsson’s theoretical view on the development of expertise has led to the 10,000 hrs doctrine, in which it is claimed that (in retrospect) one should sum up to a total amount of ten thousand hours of ‘deliberate practice’ for a successful international career. The doctrine is sometimes misunderstood in the athletic domain, thereby putting young, talented athletes in a (too) strict and a (too) harsh training regime. In dance, one has traditionally lived in a world coloured by pain (‘no pain, no gain’), where the seemingly unavoidable injuries* are perceived by dancers to be caused by fatigue, overwork and ‘repetitive movements’. In recent years, however, scientific evidence suggests that smart practice is to be preferred over the traditionally hard and long hours of practice. Against this background, questions arose in the Netherlands, in top level athletics as well as in pre-professional dance education, as to how to monitor load at the individual level, in order to prevent overload (and the concomitant danger of chronic injuries) in athletes and dancers. In the presentation I will describe (some of) my experiences regarding the monitoring and prevention of overload in athletes and dancers.

Friday, August 30, 14.00-14.45
Thematic Session 4: (over)load

About Jacques van Rossum

Jacques van Rossum (1947) is a psychologist and human movement scientist with a focus on the nurturing of sporting talent. From 1974 to 2012 he was affiliated with the Department of Human Movement Sciences of the VU University in Amsterdam. As of 1997 he has worked in the Dance Department of the Amsterdam Theatre School.