Sport performance is the result of a complex and challenging blend of many factors. Sport coaches and National Goveming Bodies (NGBs) of sport have begun to recognise that the most efficacious way of preparing athletes for competition is one based upon proven scientific methods and not upon trial and error judgements. Such a response flies in the face of much of the coaching folklore that has been passed down through the generations. Indeed, it is not so long ago that most sport coaches would treat the idea of support from a sport scientist with abject cynicism. Today, however, it is far more commonplace for individual athletes and teams of athletes, who aspire towards achieving superior optimal performances, their coaches and NGB advisors, to seek an input from sport scientists so that these athletes can achieve their full potential. The complex blend of component factors necessary for successful sport performance are activity specific, and this has led to the demand for the provision of assessment batteries that have proven specificity within the context of a particular sport. In addition, sport scientists require testing protocols to be duplicated, and for comparable data to be obtained when athletes are tested in different laboratories by different scientists and at different times throughout a preparatory and competitive season (MacDougall and Wenger, l99l). Even when scientists revert to data collection in the field, mainly because of convenience, information gathered about athletes might be less consistent, but it might well be more specific and upon which some key decisions can often be made. Clearly, athletes, their coaches, their NGB advisers and the sport scientists that support them each have concerns over performance enhancement and optimisation. Additionally, sport scientists themselves might well have a personal research agenda. It has to be acknowledged, therefore, that all of these stakeholders have an interest in the quality of the data collected and that these data should be relevant, consistent and accurate.
|Cardiff Metropolitan University
|Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
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