Sports Science support
Sports Science Support involves help and advice from a number 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:
Physiological sports science support involves strategies to ensure optimal performance is achieved at designated points throughout the training cycle. Fitness tests can be conducted either in a sports science laboratory or in the field, according to the needs of the sport. Training prescription can be performed in collaboration with coaches, along with regular monitoring of the body’s response to training programmes and competition. Monitoring involves subjective feedback from the athlete, in addition to monitoring of variables from blood and urine samples in a sports science laboratory. Additional interventions are aimed at improving the body’s ability to cope with adverse climates, altitude and long haul travel.
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:
- Ability to cope with adversity
- Emotional control
Skills that are typically taught include:
- 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 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.
- Performance Enhancement - by developing muscle strength, strength endurance, power (speed and agility) and sports specific (functional) movements.
- Injury Prevention - through postural training, stability, core strengthening and movement (sports related) based assessment.
These two factors can be implemented in conjunction with coaches and other sports science and sports medicine staff for a holistic training regime.
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.
For further information on nutrition, what foods to eat and some healthy recipes click here
Performance analysis utilises a range of computer software and video technology to assess performance. Factors such as tactics, technique, movement and work-rate within training or competition can be assessed. This provides coaches with valuable information that enables them to manipulate training and tactics to maximise the chance of success.
For 'Frequently Asked Questions' regarding Sports Science Support please click here.