This site aims to become a resource for athletes, coaches & researchers to provide information relating to the field of sports science. A brief description of the sub-disciplines within this field are provided below and examples of applied research illustrated within the website. Links to sports science organisations, research resources and general sporting sites are also provided in an attempt to create a comprehensive information source within the sports science field.
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Sports science is the scientific study of sporting performance. It includes the study of a variety of elements that have an influence on the human performer and the sporting environment.
Each of these elements has a key influence on the sporting performance of athletes competing in all sports. Optimal performance in sport is considered to be the result of a complex interaction between physiological fitness, psychological preparedness, skill, biomechanical efficiency, nutrition, hydration and health (medical) factors. It therefore seems sensible and rational to research sports performance using an interdisciplinary approach (combining the study of the above listed factors), in order to accurately assess the varying contributions to the whole performance made by each individual factor.
Historically, research in sports science focused solely upon the contribution or effect of one aspect from within a sub-discipline (Burwitz et al., 1993) i.e. the physiological responses to elite performances. This is commonly due to a lack of understanding of the complexity of the interaction of the sub-disciplines and their relative contributions to total performance. Applied research in sports science seeks to gain an understanding of performance in specific sports settings. Such an understanding may be used to improve performance by introducing modifications to technique, training, skill or psychological preparation, depending upon the sub-discipline used as the basis for the research (Hay, 1984).
Dapena (1987) suggests that the standards of excellence achieved by an athlete are a function of distinct, but interacting components of training, as outlined previously. For example, not only must the physical condition of the individual be optimised for a specific event, but technique must be fine-tuned to obtain maximum benefit from the level of fitness achieved. Additionally, if the athlete is not psychologically prepared, he will be incapable of performing optimally.
So, by obtaining information related to more than one sub-discipline on an individual athlete, it may be possible to identify those elements that are associated with the better performances. This may then lead to indicate how the individual can improve personal performance and / or common trends within a particular population of athletes.
This site aims to provide a reference for athletes, coaches, students and researchers providing sports science research information in a variety of of the sub-disciplines, links to sports science organizations and other general sports related links.