On April 11, 1970, the crew of Apollo 13 blasted off from Kennedy Space Centre at the start of their mission to the moon. Following the recent successes of Apollo missions 11 and 12, James Lovell and Fred Haise were due to become the fifth and sixth humans to walk on the moon. However, just under 56 hours after taking off, and 330,000 km from Earth, disaster struck.
Entries by Craig Pickering
Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the November edition we start off looking at elite coaches. Player development pathways are often discussed, but what are the pathways and processes of elite coaches? After that topic, we dive into some analysis of talent identification in jumping events, within-sport specialization, putting ecological dynamics in practice, the Cirque du Soleil, and more.
By his own admission, Brad Gilbert was not the most talented tennis player. And yet, across the span of his sporting career, he accumulated $5.5 million in prize money, and achieved a career high world ranking of #4, along with twenty singles titles and an Olympic bronze medal. By almost anyone’s account, that is a successful career—so how did Gilbert, who on paper, should have been a middle of the pack player, achieve so much success? As he points out in his book, Winning Ugly, it’s because tennis matches aren’t played on paper, they’re played on a court, between real people—and people can be gamed.
Athletes are generally under large amounts of strain. This can be physical in nature, such as the strain produced both by a single training session, or the accumulated strain of a number of training sessions within a training block. More recently, we’ve started to understand that strain can also be non-physiological in nature, with a link between increased stress and under-performance becoming more established. New research helps us further understand the connection.
Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the October edition we start off looking at disordered eating in sport, including a look at prevalence, warning signs, and more. We then look at how training can be viewed in terms of creating synergies, monitoring training load in endurance athletes, integrated sports rehabilitation, game day priming, and more.
As the athletics season in the Northern Hemisphere comes to an end, many coaches will be evaluating how their athletes performed in the previous season, and then use this information to inform their training program for the coming, and future, seasons. This is similar to what businesses do frequently, particularly when it comes to developing a strategy to drive what they do on a daily basis towards a long-term, overall aim.
Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the September edition we start off looking how wind affects sprinter performance. We then look at countermovement jump ability of sprinters, interpreting statistics, cannabidiol, bullsh*t, and more.
Successful athletes have an air of mystique about them. We spend time thinking about what it is that makes them successful; what is the one technique that they or their coach have found which has improved performance? What secrets have they uncovered that we haven’t?
The SS Torrey Canyon was a massive Supertanker, almost 300 meters in length and 40 meters wide, that was first launched in 1958. In early 1967, the ship left Kuwait, loaded with oil and headed for Milford Haven, a port in Wales. The route took the ship past the Scilly Islands, which are located around 24 miles west of the coast of Cornwall. When sailing towards Milford Haven, ships can choose to go west of the Isle of Scilly, into the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean, or to the east, squeezing between Cornwall and the Isles. The eastern route is much faster–as it is a straighter line between two points–but the narrow channel has a variety of navigational hazards, the most famous of which is the Seven Stones reef. At nearly two miles in length, and one mile wide, the reef is a well-known danger, responsible for over 200 wrecks in its history.
Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In the August edition we start off looking at some lessons we can learn from a recent editorial giving an elite athlete’s perspective on training and load management. We also look at the modern consensus on hamstring injury risk, coaching resilience, how the athlete biological passport has impacted performance, team comedians, and more.