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Topend Sports Newsletter: 16 June 2015

Sports Science Alert (SSA) #022

Does Your Sport Science Program Suck?

For this newsletter I wanted to share some insights from a great article published by Derek Hansen on strengthpowerspeed.com last week, called Eight Ways To Ensure Your Sport Science Program Doesn't Suck.

It is great that sporting teams are embracing sport science and employing dietitians, psychologists, physiologists, GPS analysts, statisticians ... the list goes on. Some teams have more front line staff than players. With so much expert input in player development, it is important to employ the right people and get them working well together for the benefit of the team.

Below are Hansen's keys points to ensure your sport science team does not suck, with my brief summary of each point. You can read the full article: part 1 and part 2. Point 2 about buying the latest gadgets relates to my latestTopend Sports post on the new fitness tests for the NHL combine.

  1. Don't Allow the Collection of Data to Distract You from Quality Coaching - the keen well-trained eye of the coach mustn't be lost in the jumble of numbers and technology.
  2. Establish 'Purpose' Before a Purchase - don't just buy the latest gadget before establishing a tangible need and an implementation plan prior to purchasing.
  3. Hire Good People - avoid filling the coaching team with familiar or non-threatening members, surround yourself with the best people (smart, young, enthusiastic) to get the best results.
  4. Understand Your Job and Your Role - each individual on the coaching team should have a clear role, too often people overstep the line and start advising on topics outside their area of expertise.
  5. Communicate Effectively and Often - trust will be built, and better gains for athletes with open sharing of information and clear communication between team members
  6. Work Towards Well Defined Goals in an Organized Fashion - don't use data to fish for ideas, simply scanning numbers for patterns can be a futile and time-exhaustive exercise. Identify well-defined goals of the program and work with purpose.
  7. Advertise Your Accomplishments, Not Your Ego - just becasue you buy the latest technology doesn't prove anything except the fact that you have deep pockets - it is better to document the changes that were made as a result and the benefits that were accrued. Show off the results not the hardware.
  8. If an Approach Isn't Working, Don't be Afraid to Trash It - There is more than one way to skin a cat, and it is important to know when to abandon fruitless ventures and divert energy to more productive pursuits.
Do you have any other examples or personal experiences about how some sport science programs suck? Hit reply and let me know.

 


Related Content on Topend Sports



Video: 2015 NHL Combine


I've just published a blog post on the 2015 NHL Combine, which links to this video following hockey prospect Connor McDavid at the combine as he progresses through the tests. You can see on the video the new tests for this year: y-balance and using a force plate for vertical jump power. The top 10 results from all tests are on Topend Sports.


The Sport Science Alert (SSA) newsletter brings you the latest news in sport, science, fitness and nutrition. Created by Rob Wood of Topend Sports, the ultimate online sport and science resource.

That's all for this week, thanks for your continued support of this newsletter and the topend sports website. If you have any feedback or suggestions for the content of future newsletters, please let me know. Use the links below to contact me on my website, via email or on social media. See you next time. Rob

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