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Sports Science Monthly – May 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In this month’s edition we look at research on coping styles of athletes during the pandemic and how understanding that can help coaches support athletes. Then we look at the role of gut instinct in talent identification, health problems in young runners, oral health for athletes, and much more.

It’s not (always) about the coach

When it comes to coach development, we often pay attention to increasing the capability of a given coach across a variety of domains—most commonly, technical, inter-, and intra-personal knowledge. As such, our belief is that, by making coaches more skilled and knowledgeable, we can improve the outcome for the athlete; better coaches mean better athletes.

How elite coaches learn

Behind every successful athlete is a coach. Whilst we typically have a good idea of what goes into developing an elite athlete, we tend to pay much less attention to how elite coaches develop. This is obviously a gap in our thinking; if we want to have successful athletes, and to sustain the success of those athletes, then we need an army of coaches with the ability to develop and support them. As a coach reading this, you might be thinking about how you can best develop, and what situations can you engineer for yourself to best drive your development. Fortunately, there is plenty of research to guide us.

Sports Science Monthly – April 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month’s topic lines up with the April site theme on HMMR Media: coaching excellence. We share some research on serial winning coaches, pursuing mastery in coaching, as well as other topics like exercise dependence and genetic testing.

The psychological attributes of elite coaches

When we think about sports psychology, we typically think about how we can best prepare athletes to perform at their best in competition, and to be in a state of mental wellbeing across their careers. However, in doing so, we miss out a crucial person in the athlete development process: the coach. Coaches spend a lot of time with their athletes, and so can be a massive influence; they are also, in their own right, “performers” who can (and do) strive to be elite, just like their athletes.

Sports Science Monthly – March 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month’s topic lines up with the March site theme on HMMR Media: sprinting. We have some new research on why sprint times slow with age, hamstring exercises for sprinting, and sex-specific injuries in running. In addition we also review some new research on sleep, predicting performance, and much more.

What makes the difference in a championship?

This weekend’s European Indoor Championships marks the return of championships to track and field. After nearly 18 months without a major championship, both athletes and fans will get a reminder about what championships are all about. Performing well at a major championship is the main goal of any elite athlete, because, when they look back at their career, it is the medals that they will count the most. Asafa Powell may have run under 10 seconds nearly 100 times, but he’s remember just as much for the fact he never won a major title. Optimizing performance on the day of competition is therefore of critical importance, and a lot of time is spent—or at least should be spent—developing strategies to support competition day performance.

Microtesting: rethinking your testing strategy to improve your decision making

A hot topic in training is that of microdosing: how can we provide very small doses of stress to provide meaningful adaptations within a training session or program? That’s the theme on HMMR Media this month. But what if, instead of thinking of microdosing through the prism of training, we think about microdosing athlete testing? Would it be better to embed small tests into training regularly rather than doing a large slate of test every month or two?

Sports Science Monthly – February 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. This month we start with a look at how well genetics can be used to predict talent. Then we move on to the latest research on changing team culture, mental health, performance management, and how coaches learn.