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Sports Science Monthly – September 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Science Monthly. This month, we take a closer look at the timing of injury prevention training, mental fatigue, antioxidants, max testing, agility, chocolate milk, and several other topics. Read more

GAINcast Episode 134: Sports science has lost its way (with Tony Strudwick)

Over the last decade the field of sports science has grown exponentially. At the same time it has started to lose its way. Rather than telling players what they can do, it often tells players what they can’t. Rather than focusing on adaptations, it focuses on measuring loads. And rather than being coach-driven, training has become driven more by the backroom staff. On this episode of the GAINcast, Tony Studwick shares his experience as a sports scientist. In more than a decade with Manchester United he saw first hand how the field has evolved and what the best teams do differently in this area. Read more

So you want to be a strength and conditioning coach?

As a university professor, I often ask students who are undertaking a degree in Exercise and Sport Science if they want to work with elite athletes. Typically, about a half of the class put their hands in the air. This isn’t really surprising when you consider the glamorous image of being involved in elite sport, either professional or Olympic sports. However the stark reality is that, by its very nature, elite sport doesn’t provide enough jobs for the vast number of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Read more

HMMR Podcast Epsidode 170: Throwing mechanics (with Don Babbitt)

Don Babbitt is one of the world’s best throwing coaches, having produced champions across every event and both genders. In addition to his role at the University of Georgia, he has been working with the IAAF on their recent biomechanical analysis of the 2017 World Championships. By adding a coach’s perspective, he can help identify key points to take away from the project in all throwing events. On this week’s episode we break down the report what its findings mean for coaches. Read more

Two methods to break down complex sports

In many ways, track and field coaches have it easy. When I am coaching a hammer thrower, for example, I have just one athlete to worry about, one movement to train for, and one technique to master. Athletes in open-skilled sports, on the other hand, have a much more difficult puzzle to put together. How do coaches decide what to focus on in training and programming in such a situation? Read more

The role of genetics in reducing hamstring injuries

Hamstring injuries in sport are highly pervasive, often representing the most common injury site across a range of sports from rugby to sprinting to American football. One sport in which hamstring injuries have been well examined is that of soccer; during the 2016/2017 English Premier League season, 27% of all injuries suffered were hamstring injuries. This lead to the loss of over 20,000 training days, with the wages of the injured players exceeding £131 million. Alongside this massive financial burden is the issue of future performance decrements; having suffered a prior hamstring injury, players are more likely to suffer a further hamstring injury, an injury at another site, and a reduction in future performance. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – August 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Science Monthly. This month, we take a closer look at periodizing some different aspects of training, sleep as a measurement for overtraining, building resilience, supplements, and several other topics. Read more

The quest for prediction in coaching

Within sport, everyone is now looking at prediction. Coaches, athletes, and support staff are all searching for methods to predict various outcomes, such as injury, talent, performance, or training adaptation. The ability to successfully predict within these areas would obviously be hugely advantageous. Injury prediction could allow you to make interventions to stop that from happening. Talent prediction can allow teams to better focus resources. Predicting adaptations would allow coaches to design better training blocks or alter them based on the predicted response. In other words, prediction is the holy grail of sports science. Read more

GAINcast Episode 128: Talking heads

A lot has been going on in the world of sport over the last month. On this week’s GAINcast, we take a break from normal business to discuss our thoughts on current events, recent trends in sports, and a few rants too. From youth phenoms to the changing role of sports science, we cover a wide range of topics. Read more

Clearing the path or preparing the athlete for the path

A recent post reporting Tony Strudwick’s comments is what prompted me to write this post.

Let’s stop putting inordinate amount of time in clearing a smooth and direct path for the athlete. All it does is set up unrealistic expectations. No journey toward athletic excellence is straight and narrow toward the destination without any bumps in the road, detours or breakdowns. Instead let’s shift the emphasis back to where it should be: preparing a robust adaptable athlete to negotiate any path put in front of them. To quote my colleague Bill Knowles what we have today is a “Medicalization of sport (sports medicine/sports rehabilitation): the process by which sports specific conditions and problems come to be defined and treated as medical conditions, and thus become the subject of medical study, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.” Read more