A. S. Pavlov1, A. A. Petrov2
1Proffessional ice hockey club CSKA, Moscow, Russia.
2Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow;
Abstract. The paper analyzes data on the dynamics of heart rates among hockey players, obtained in an official game of the Junior Hockey League championship (U20), using the Polar Team Pro monitoring system. In the course of the analysis, inadequately high heart rates in individual hockey players were revealed. The analysis included the minimum, average and maximum heart rates for hockey players, while also indicating their playing position (forward or defender). It was found that most of the competitive work on ice by hockey players is carried out in 2 zones: submaximal (80-89% of maximum) and maximum (90-100% of maximum) intensity. The paper presents data on the percentage of energy supply mechanisms among hockey players during work on ice. The authors of this study noted that the ideas about the fragmentation of the mechanisms of energy supply in the training and competitive activity of athletes are erroneous and do not correspond to reality. It is stated that you need to use the systemic laws of the body’s functioning when building the training process of hockey players, taking into account the specifics of competitive on-ice work. The justification of the use of a remote heart rate monitoring system as an additional method of operational control over the level of functional activity of hockey players on the ice rink is presented.
Keywords: hockey, competition, heart rate, heart rate zones, Polar Team Pro, energy supply mechanisms.
Introduction. Achieving high results in sports requires the use of modern technologies and training methods [3, 4, 5]. One of the key factors in building an effective training process for hockey players is the control and assessment of training and competitive work loads. Specialists of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation  in their research work on assessing the functional preparedness of hockey players note, that in the practice of sports, the efficiency of the information received about the athlete without the use of complex test systems that require significant time is extremely important. Also, recent studies  note the importance of using in the practice of sports specific testing methods for a particular kind of sport, namely, those carried out in the process of an athlete’s competitive activity.
In sports practice, to assess the intensity of work, various methods for assessing the heart rate (HR) are widely used. However, it ignores the fact that the heart rate indicator does not directly characterize the intensity of the work performed, but indirectly reflects the level of oxygen demand required for an athlete to perform particular work and the rate of oxygen debt replenishment.
In the theory and practice of sports, heart rate indicators are usually correlated with the zones of work intensity of the athlete’s body. There are 5 zones of intensity: 1st zone — aerobic recovery (heart rate — 130-140 beats / min); 2nd zone — aerobic developmental (heart rate — 140-160 beats / min); 3rd zone — mixed aerobic-anaerobic (heart rate — 160-180 beats / min); 4th zone — anaerobic-glycolytic (heart rate over 180 beats / min); 5th zone — anaerobic-alactate (heart rate indicators are not informative). Foreign researchers  also distinguish 5 heart rate zones — the differences lie in the names of these zones. The POLAR heart rate assessment system, which is actively used in modern sports and involved in our study, uses a similar classification, the following zones are distinguished:
• heart rate 1 (50-60% of maximum) — very low intensity, 104-114 beats / min;
• heart rate 2 (60-70% of maximum) — low intensity level, 114-133 beats / min;
• heart rate 3 (70-80% of maximum) — average intensity level, 133-152 beats / min;
• heart rate 4 (80-90% of the maximum) — intensive training, 152-172 beats / min;
• heart rate 5 (90-100% of maximum) — maximum, 172-190 beats / min.
It should be noted that the calculated maximum heart rate in the POLAR system corresponds to 190 beats / min.
Researchers from the Siberian State University of Physical Culture , stated the need to use the zones of intensity in the training sessions of hockey players. In addition, the authors of this study state that it is inexpedient to use glycolytic training loads during the competitive period, and if such loads are performed during training, they recommend that hockey players perform aerobic work the next day — in order to «increase the efficiency of oxidative processes» in the athlete’s body. This recommendation is connected with the rejection of its authors of the systemic laws of the body’s functions [4, 5] and with their orientation towards the ideas about the fragmentation of the work of various mechanisms of energy supply  that are common in sports pedagogy.
V.E. Zankovets, V.P. Popov (2015), with reference to M.V. Pankov (2012), declare that the share of anaerobic mechanisms of energy supply in hockey players during the game is 69%, and the share of the aerobic mechanism is 31%. At the same time, M.V. Pankov himself (2012) refers to the publication of S. Lau et al. (2001), and those, in turn, on the results of studies by V. Seliger et al. 1972 year. It should be noted that in 1972 there was no apparatus for assessing the energy metabolism of athletes in the process of their specific sports work, but the direct transfer of the results obtained in laboratory conditions using non-specific test exercises to the actual sports activity is inadmissible . You should know that any work of the human body is provided by all mechanisms of energy supply, but the share of each of them varies depending on the nature of the training or competitive work performed by the athlete. However, V.E. Zankovets, V.P. Popov (2015), based on the above data, associate the playing activity of hockey players exclusively with the value of their aerobic performance. Moreover, in their opinion, aerobic performance is characterized by the level of development of the so-called «general endurance». This conclusion is due to the illiterate ideas of these authors about the principles of the functioning of the human body . In this regard, the opinion of L.G. Kharitonova et al. is more justified (2005), who in their work came to the conclusion about the importance of developing both aerobic and anaerobic energy performance for hockey players.
In general, an orientation exclusively towards the zones of intensity in terms of heart rate indicators in sports practice is unjustified both from physiological and pedagogical positions. The main indicators of the intensity of the body’s work will always be the results of the fulfillment of specific motor acts, correlated with the maximum results demonstrated by the athlete in these exercises. The dynamics of heart rate indicators, assessed during the performance of these exercises, will only be additional information about the nature of the athlete’s work. Nevertheless, the competent use of data on the functioning of the cardiovascular system in the training process can be a significant help in the work of a coach.
Goals and objectives of the study. To analyze the data obtained and determine the heart rate zones, to a greater extent characterizing the competitive activity of hockey players. Estimate the difference in heart rate among hockey players playing different positions. Give recommendations on the construction of training processes in JHL U20 teams, based on the results obtained.
Research methods. To solve the set objectives, we used the following research methods: theoretical analysis and generalization of scientific and methodological literature; pedagogical observation; remote heart rate measurement method using the POLAR Team Pro system; methods of mathematical statistics (calculation of the average and standard deviation).
Main part. The study was conducted as part of the performance of the selected team in the Junior Hockey League championship (U20) in the 2019-2020 season. 18 hockey players took part in the research (the teams starting line-up — 4 groups of forwards, 3 pairs of defenders; the goalkeeper did not take part in the study due to the specifics of competitive goalkeeper work, which significantly differs from the competitive work of other players).
The POLAR Team Pro system was used to monitor and collect data on the dynamics of the hockey players’ heart rate directly during the game.
To assess the dynamics of hockey players’ heart rate changes during competitive activity, immediately before the start of the match, a wireless Polar sensor was attached to each player around the chest area, which in real time transmitted heart rate indicators to the team coach’s tablet computer.
The duration of the collection of information on the heart rate of hockey players during the game was 2 hours 6 minutes and 15 seconds, which includes 3 periods of the game (20 minutes of «clean» game time), shifts during the game (resting on the bench) and 10 minutes breaks between periods (preparation of the ice).
Research results. The tables below show the heart rates of hockey players during a game of the Junior Hockey League championship in the 2019-2020 season, while also indicating the position of the players.
The average indicator of the minimum heart rate for the forwards (n = 12) during the game was 91 ± 20 beats / min. The average heart rate of the forwards during the game was 140 ± 12 beats / min. The average indicator of the maximum value of heart rate among the forwards during the game was 197 ± 14 beats / min.
The average indicator of the minimum heart rate among defenders (n = 6) during the game was 92 ± 12 beats / min. The average heart rate among defenders during the game was 134 ± 16 beats / min. The average indicator of the maximum heart rate among defenders during the game was 194 ± 9 beats / min.
As can be seen from the data obtained, the average and maximum indicator of the heart rates for the forwards compared to the defenders is slightly higher — by 4.5% according to the average indicator, and by 1.5% according to the maximum indicator.
As from the results presented in picture 2, hockey players spend the least amount of time during the game in “heart rate zone 1” — 807 seconds, 11% of the total time. Hockey players spend the most time during the game in “heart rate zone 3”, characterized by a sufficiently large load (within the range of 70% to 80% of the maximum heart rate) — 2014 seconds, 28% of the total time. In the “zones” of submaximal and maximum intensity (“heart rate zone 4” and “heart rate zone 5”), hockey players during the game spend a total of 2345 seconds, which is 33% of the total playing time.
1. A significant part of the time (33%) during the game, hockey players spend their time in the heart rate zone 4 (80-89% of the maximum) and heart rate zone 5 (90-100% of the maximum).
2. Comparison of the heart rate of the forwards and defenders of the team revealed that forwards have higher indicators — the heart rate is 4.5% higher on average, and 1.5% on the maximum value.
3. There was a significant difference in the maximum individual heart rate of hockey players, in some cases significantly exceeding the maximum calculated value of the «Polar» system.
Conclusion. Analyzing the data obtained, it is worth highlighting the individuality of the minimum and maximum heart rates of hockey players. Different heart rates among hockey players when performing the same training or competitive work may indicate the individual physiological characteristics of the athletes’ organism, the level of their functional readiness at a given time, their level of fitness in general. However, it should be remembered that the indicators which determine the level of training of hockey players, are their technical and tactical readiness, on which, first and foremost, the effectiveness of the actions of hockey players on the ice depends on. Thus, a hockey player’s heart rate is not the determining factor of the efficiency of his actions on the ice rink. At the same time, the assessment of heart rates is a rather informative additional method of operational control over the level of functional readiness of hockey players on the ice, which allows the coach to assess, to a certain extent, the level of recovery of athletes and vary the volume and intensity of the training load.
Heart rate indicators do not determine the conditions of fulfillment, but only informs the coach about the amount of oxygen demand that the body needs at the moment. Orientation of coaches to training work in certain «heart rate zones» will not have a positive effect on the increase in the level of special training of hockey players, at least because the game always takes place in the mode of maximum motor intensity, where previously formed skills and abilities are realized and the level of working capacity is demonstrated that was achieved in the training process. The results obtained confirm the need to build the training process for hockey players in accordance with the specifics of competitive work.
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Pavlov A.S. Analysis of the use of the POLAR TEAM PRO heart rate monitoring system in the process of a game for hockey players / A. S. Pavlov, A. A. Petrov [Электронный ресурс] // Спортивно-педагогическое образование: сетевое издание. – 2021. – №4. – С. 21-24. URL: http://www.sporgufk.ru/sites/www.sporgufk.ru/files/no4-2021_spo_setevoe_izdanie.pdf
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