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  • Term Mode
  • ACU Term 2Online Unscheduled
  • ACU Term 4Online Unscheduled



Unit rationale, description and aim

To effectively design training programs, practitioners require an understanding of the interactions between training load, fatigue, performance, and injury. Sports scientists and others working in high performance sport need to be able to identify the different models that can explain fatigue and its severity, as well as how different variables can be used to measure fatigue status in response to training and competition. Practitioners also need to prescribe contemporary methods for enhancing recovery. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to design and implement a load and fatigue monitoring and recovery protocol relevant to specific high performance environments.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Explain fatigue from a psycho-physiological perspective and how it can be measured in the laboratory and in applied high performance sport settingsGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO2Measure internal and external training and competition load, and explain the interactions with performance and injuryGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO3Develop protocols for the monitoring and assessment of load and fatigue to maximize adaptation in a high performance sport environmentGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11


  • Fatigue-Recovery Cycle and Fatigue Continuum 
  • Models of Fatigue 
  • Assessing Fatigue 
  • Monitoring Training Load 
  • Relationships Between Training, Performance, and Injury 
  • Enhancing Athlete Recovery 
  • Load and Fatigue Monitoring Systems in Practice  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies have been purposefully designed for the assessment of learning outcomes reflecting the principles of authentic assessment design and include:

  • Assessment Task 1: development of an “infographic” to assess student learning of unit content and its communication; and
  • Assessment Task 2: an athlete monitoring protocol to assess student understanding and application of unit content. 

Students must achieve a cumulative grade of at least 50% across all assessments.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment 1


Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts related to load and fatigue monitoring or recovery and communicate this to athletes and coaches 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment 2

A load and fatigue monitoring protocol 

Enables students to demonstrate application of knowledge and understanding by formulating an evidence-based athlete monitoring and recovery  protocol 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Cormack, Stuart and Coutts, Aaron (2022). Training Load Model. In D. French & L Torres Ronda (Eds.), NSCA's Essentials of Sports Science. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Cormack, Stuart and Coutts, Aaron.J (2022). 'Monitoring Fitness and Performance.' in David Joyce and Daniel Lewindon (eds.), High-Performance Training For Sports 2nd Ed (Human Kinetics: Champaign, Illinois).

Horsley BJ, Tofari PJ, Halson SL, Kemp JG, Dickson J, Maniar N, and Cormack SJ. Does Site Matter? Impact of Inertial Measurement Unit Placement on the Validity and Reliability of Stride Variables During Running: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Medicine. 2021;51:1449-1489.

Lalor BJ, Tran J, Halson SL, Kemp JG, and Cormack SJ. Business class travel preserves sleep quality and quantity and minimizes jet lag during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. 2021;1:1-12.

Ruddy JD, Cormack S, Timmins RG, Sakadjian A, Pietsch S, Carey DL, Williams MD, and Opar DA. Factors that Impact Self-reported Wellness Scores in Elite Australian Footballers. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2020;52:1427-1435.

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