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Posted in: High Performance Coaching

Growth of Sport Science

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  • gbboxing

    Is the growth of sport science eclipsing the value of a coaches personal experience and traditional coaching methods? Value views.

  • saranicolehilton

    No I believe the two are two completely seperate componants that when combined and balanced produce the optimum tool to develop athletes. The sport science brings the scientific measurable elements that help to monitor an athlete. Whereas the coaching experience will provide the tools for an athlete to cope and adapt in different situations. 

  • JonWoodward74

    I think Sara sums it up perfectly! My own view is that is a lack of understanding of how sport science can influence coaching is the issue. It also links to the question is coaching an art or a science?  I often term it  as a artistic science, or a scientific art, where you use theory and research to develop your players and athletes - however, this theory and research only impacts if you apply it in a practical and engaging way - much like an artist paints a picture or sings a song...

  • gbboxing

    Thanks Sara for the reply. Next week I am off to an elite Coach Developers Forum. 9 different World Class Programmes are coming together to explore a number of topics. Agree with your views. Balance and blend is fundamental. Cheers Chris

  • eyerite

    Absolutely not!  Coaching (and coaches) need to embrace and use 'science' much more in their work.  That may be through the work of so called 'sports scientists' (if you are lucky enough to afford one, and then can find a good one - believe me, the title alone does not bestow competence!), or through application of proven scientific principles.

    All physcial movements have science at their core so there is no use trying to escape 'science' as a coach and just focussing on the 'artistic' side of coaching.  Sadly in my sport, the majority of coaches know far too little about the science of what the athletes do.  They often revert to old (scientifically unproven) traditions, training myths, ideas their friends/mentors/high level coaches have passed on, or engage in pseudo-science to guide their practice.  If the alleged "growth of sport science" can help them use science more effectively then all the better!

    That said, scientists need to ensure their work and new research is communicated to and with coaches in easy to understand and applicable ways.  In addition, the coaches overall experience remains vital in all sorts of ways, and should always sit alongside the science of the sport as a key part of coaching.

  • shootcoach

    I agree with Ian 100%, as coaches we need to involve ourselves in sports science and all the other specialist subjects like bio-mechanics. We need to know what makes the body and mind work with our athletes, anything less and we are surely just acting as instructors rather than coaches.

    As part of my CPD I am currently on a Sports Psychology course with Sportscotland, and our latest module is about Barcelona FC. What has that got to do with shooting sports? Well when we get down to the core values of such a successful football club, it is easy to see how these are translated into my values as a coach, and how they will help our athletes continued performance growth. Interesting times, all of which I hope will make me a better coach. 

  • IanMahoney

    They started to look into the science of training in 1973. 43 years on will still have coaches drawing on their own experience, Coaches and/or mentors will be needed until the end of time.

  • aaseadam

    Hi Ian,

    Agreed. I think the communication of sports science and it's benefits are not nearly communicated well in most sports, especially down to grass roots. So there becomes a culture of fear and ignorance. Thus, it's not needed, it's an intruder, and in my sport (boxing) we lose autonomy if we allow this immigrant in! I had a colourful argument on Facebook last week about the periodization of running throughout the season for a boxer explaining about how you need to train the varying energy systems and not just go for long runs, a la Rocky. Of course the answers were, 'works for my boxers' and 'I did it in my day' or the like.

    If we can practically show the impacts it can have on our athletes, then hopefully the fear and ignorance is conquered!

    Ps - thanks for two footing Schmeichel in the 90's, Top man!

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