Sports Science Monthly – January 2020

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month we start off by what exactly mental toughness is. We also summarize topics like the limited science of elite sprinting, connecting sprint speed to endurance performance, the load of warming up, periodizing skill acquisition, and more. Read more

The future of genetic testing and talent identification

When we look at the future of sport, one emerging area that gets increasing interest is genetic testing for athletes. As of late last year, just over 70 different companies offer genetic tests for sports performance, and these tests can be ordered online, without any sign-off needed by a medical practitioner. I used to work for one such company, and, through that employment, I was fortunate to consult with a number of elite sporting teams around how they might use genetic information with their athletes. A common question, from the teams and other interested individuals, was whether we could use this technology for to identify athletes with the future potential to be elite. Read more

Craig Pickering’s top reads of 2019

Last year I read or listened to 59 books. This year, I managed 50. Here’s my list of the books I enjoyed the most, and recommend you at least consider checking out yourself. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – December 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month we start off by looking at research on the performance stages of competition, then look at performance in the heat, genetic test, as well as injury topics related to sleep and hamstrings. Read more

The surprising performance enhancing effects of bacteria

At the 2008 Olympic Games, Taiwanese weightlifter Chen Wei-Ling won the Bronze medal in the 48-kilogram category, snatching 84 kilograms, and clean and jerking 112 kilograms. Following the disqualification of the original gold and silver medalists, she was later awarded the gold medal for her performance. A decade later she is making headlines for the bacteria in her gut. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – November 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. We start off by looking at research how accurate subjective feeling can be in quantifying training stress. Then we look at a variety of other topics concerning weight training such as pre-competition priming, isometric mid-thigh pull, foot strength, eccentric quasi-isometric resistance, and more. Read more

Optimism in coaching: helpful or harmful?

Are you a better than average driver? In an interesting study from the early 80s, researchers asked a small group of American and Swedish study participants this very question. Their answers were illuminating; 93% of Americans believed they were better than average drivers, as did 69% of Swedes. Logically, this makes no sense; only 50% of people can be better than average drivers, and yet, these study results suggest that many people are unable to accurately understand their true driving ability relative to others. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – October 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. With the World Athletics Championships having just finished, the October Sports Science Monthly look at a plethora of new research on the sport featured recently in Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, ranging from looking at injury data from the sport, pacing, and more.. We then also dive into additional topics like pillars of injury rehabilitation, developing mental toughness, and altitude training. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – September 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the September Sports Science Monthly we look at the continuing debate on periodization and whether periodization is more effective than simply adding variation in training. We they dive into diverse topics such as injury risk, stress for university athletes, genetics, the effect of training time on strength adaptations, and more. Read more

Quantifying the placebo effect in sports performance

Last month, I wrote about how the coach may act as a placebo, potentially exerting performance enhancing effects through a variety of means. The research discussed in that article was just s small part of recent efforts to better understand the influence of placebo effects on sporting performance. An upcoming special issue of European Journal of Sports Science aims to dig even more into the area, including another paper on the potential to further enhance our understanding of how placebo can affect performance. Read more