The emerging world of sport science can be difficult and overwhelming for some to understand. Numbers, data, graphs, monitoring, GPS units, laser timers, velocity trainers, the list is endless of what can be used, how it can be used and when we can use it. Integrating this into strength & conditioning – the practice of building stronger, faster, and more resilient athletes; now adds another element of confusion and intrigue to this practice. It is important for the practitioner to understand the main goal in mind and know what we are trying to accomplish in order to integrate sport science effectively within strength & conditioning, and vice versa.
The main goal when working with athletes, regardless of age or skill level, has to be limiting time away from the sport due to injury, while using applicable research, evidence, application, and thought process to improve the performance of the given athlete within their sporting environment.
As practitioners we cannot become locked into a singular data metric and lose the bigger picture in mind. We cannot be working towards only improving one aspect within the large pool of metrics within athlete development, we need a holistic approach to everything that encompasses all aspects of athlete development and performance.
Sport science provides a fancy way to track, monitor, and assess athletes, while strength and conditioning provides us with the principles to develop strength, speed, and power, amongst other metrics. The role of practitioner now stands at, how to use A – sport science, to aid in my B – strength & conditioning, or vice versa. This is were things can be tricky, and we need to understand one metric does not outweigh the next and all the metrics need to be analyzed in tandem with one another to aid in the development of the whole athlete.
Sport science should provide us with data that can be analyzed, deciphered, or interpreted in order to dictate performance, training regime, or understand an athlete’s risk for injury.
Strength & conditioning should provide us with the principles and programming an athlete will follow in order to aid in their development with the ultimate goal of improving their performance within sport.
It should be understood that integrating sport science and strength & conditioning is largely up to the desires of the practitioner, but the main idea needs to revolve around how this influences the athlete’s performance within their sport and why are we tracking, analyzing, or using this metric to make decisions.
Until next time,
Michael Silvestri, PhD(c)
President/Director of Performance
At Silvestri Sports Performance, we aim to achieve elite athlete development and human performance through the blending of science and practical applications to deliver high quality human performance, athlete development, and rehabilitation.