High Performance Athletes

EDIT TO CHANGE; SO THAT THIS PAGE IS ABOUT HIGH PERFORMANCE NEWS; AND THEN LINKS ON THE SIDE TO WHAT WE DO ETC...

√Člite Performers

Sports Science

Sports Science Support involves help and advice from a multitude of scientific disciplines (including performance analysis, nutrition, physiology, psychology and strength and conditioning) each focused on helping improve performance of the elite athlete. Below is an outline of each discipline in order for you to understand how you can best utilise the support available to you as an EC athlete. It’s important to note that not all available support services will be relevant to you all the time. The essence of the Sports Science Support Service is athlete centred so you and/or your coach can access appropriate support at any point throughout the training cycle. Funded athletes can

Physiology

Physiological Sports Science Support involves the implementation of strategies to help achieve optimal training and performance. Specific interventions include fitness testing, training advice in collaboration with the coach and regular monitoring of the body’s responses and adaptations to training programmes and competition.

Monitoring involves subjective feedback from the athlete on a variety of variables (e.g. sleep quality, muscle soreness), in addition to monitoring of variables from blood and urine samples in a Sports Science Laboratory. Monitoring of effectiveness of specific training sessions can also be carried out. Fitness tests are sport/event specific and are conducted either in a Sports Science Laboratory or at the training venue.

Additional interventions are aimed at improving the body’s ability to cope with adverse climates, altitude and long haul travel.

Psychology

Psychological Sports Science Support is interested in considering the mental factors that can affect performance. Sport Psychologists can help improve performance in both training and competition by developing the following:

  • Concentration
  • Motivation
  • Confidence
  • Ability to cope with adversity
  • Emotional control

Skills that are typically taught include:

  • Relaxation
  • Imagery
  • Competition preparation
  • Training and performance review
  • Goal setting
  • Ability to focus
  • Managing self talk

Furthermore, Sport Psychologists can help with decision making, career transitions and communication. Sport Psychologists work in a variety of ways to develop the above skills. These include workshop based education, individual consultations, working with coaches, and observing training and competition.

Biomechanics

Biomechanics involves analysis of human movement and technique. In terms of performance enhancement, analysis of your technique in training and competition is crucial as it can help to identify areas of weakness, prevent injury and increase efficiency of sport specific movements. It is closely related to other support services such as Performance Analysis, Sports Medicine and Strength and Conditioning.

Strength and Conditioning

Strength and conditioning primarily has two main focuses.

1. Performance Enhancement - by developing muscle strength, strength endurance, power (speed and agility) and sports specific (functional) movements.

2. Injury Prevention - through postural training, stability, core strengthening and movement (sports related) based assessment.

These two factors can be implemented in conjunction with your coach other Sports Science and Sports Medicine staff for a holistic training regime.


Nutrition

Nutritional support involves advice on what’s best to eat and drink to enhance performance. General advice for nutrition in training and competition can be accessed in addition to specific advice on daily nutritional requirements for your individual training and competition needs. Advice can also be provided on gaining or losing weight as well as making weight in weight category sports.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I access Sports Science support?

If you haven’t already received support you should contact the Sports Science Manager, Matt Cosgrove (029 20 338311 or ) who will coordinate support from the appropriate professional(s).

How frequently will I meet with the Sports Science Officer?

This can vary depending on what you are working on and what you are aiming to achieve. As a result you can discuss expectations with your Sports Science Officer when you start working together.

How confidential is the work that we do together?

All Sports Science Officers must abide by The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Code of Conduct (see www.bases.org.uk). Any confidentiality issues can be discussed with your Sports Science Officer.