Sports has become a multi-million dollar business. Athletes are being paid millions of dollars to compete and win games and competitions. An injury or poor performance can have catastrophic financial implications. Therefore, it is no wonder that coaches and athletes are continuously seeking new ways to improve their performance. This has led to the rise of sports and exercise science. Continuous research is being performed by scientists on health, training, recovery, nutrition, and psychology, anything that will give athletes an edge to win and compete. New technology is continuously being created to help monitor these athletes' performances such as GPS and smartwatches.
Despite this amazing research being done, many athletes still make a lot of mistakes with their training and nutrition, often due to misleading marketing techniques that promote fads in an attempt for a business to make money off a product. Why does this happen? First of all, it is often exciting when a new product is out. Athletes and coaches are often tempted to be the first to try it to be innovative. However, a new product does not necessarily mean it's better than the previous ones. The goal of sports and exercise science is to help answer questions related to different training approaches in an attempt to help guide these athletes and coaches to choose the best possible way to train and avoid these pitfalls.
When designing a program, coaches and athletes should always seek evidence-based practices, meaning that the pros and cons of the training methods used are well researched by sports and exercise scientists. This is the difference between a fad and science. A fad is a new training method, marketed by people. It is often shared with plenty of enthusiasm at first, but also short-lived. A fad is often based on people’s opinions, not on scientific research. If a training method does not contain any scientific research, coaches and athletes should stay clear of that fad.
Despite the amazing pressure on athletes to succeed, the health and well-being of the athletes should always be prioritized. Unfortunately, in many cases, this is still the other way round and this leads to multiple injuries, illnesses, and diseases. Athletes still need to stay healthy. They still succumb to illnesses, diseases, and injuries. Being healthy can be the difference between success and failure and thus we must start there. You still need to work hard for success, but this cannot be done if you are not healthy. Science is there to help athletes stay healthy, free from injuries, and safely prepare for competition and achieve top performance. If the athlete is healthy, positive results will also come. It is not a coincidence that performance at an elite level is increasing. Records that stood for years are now being broken. Athletes are prolonging their careers. Science has played a huge part in this development.
You don’t need to be an elite athlete to benefit from doing scientific research. Even recreational athletes or fitness enthusiasts can find beneficial information. Ultimately the goal is the same, to reach a new level of performance! This blog will help present the latest scientific research in a way that is easy to read for everybody. This blog can also help inspire new coaches and even elite ones to add new knowledge to their library!
Thanks for reading, and as always stay fit!