The new university year is now in it's second week and the fall sports are in full swing so I thought I would write a little about the sport science and coach education activities that we took part in over the summer period. As coaching manager for the Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education, I am lucky to be a part of these services and trips.
Educational Presentations / Symposiums
On Friday May 13th, we hosted our 2011 Medical Symposium. This included talks from sports medicine professionals, university professors, and strength and conditioning coaches on concussion, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, and strength training for young athletes.
ETSU has a school on campus, and in early June we provided an inservice to their coaching staff - focusing on program design and exercise technique. At the end of the month, we presented on similar topics to local coaches and trainers on behalf of the Mountain Athletic Trainers Society. Christian Carter and I received some really good questions during both the theoretical and practical components. These questions were positive signs to the growing base of knowledge amongst coaches in the area.
A number of Center of Excellence staff and students were also active during ETSU volleyball and soccer camps over the summer months. The very nature of these camps means that the young attendees are effectively a captive audience. Any education that can help them make better decisions regarding training, nutrition, and recovery in their future careers is a huge oppurtunity that we have been lucky enough to grab.
Everyone wants to work with elite athletes, and we are no exception. Events such as these, however, are vital in improving coaching practice and performance from the ground up.
Sport Science Consultancy
Late in May, I hit the road and spent a couple of days with a strong NCAA Division 1 program to help them put together a season plan for training on and off the soccer field. In July, I gave similar assistance to a very successful NAIA program that had been having a problem with injuries over recent years. Fatigue management was a key issue for both programs.
In August, a group of us were lucky enough to be asked to visit a major Division 1-A football program that are interested in introducing a sport science program similar to ours at ETSU. Meeting with all involved, including the exercise science and sports medicine departments truly was an honor, and the potential at this college is huge.
Later in August we had a visitor from an NBA team spend three days with us. His team is currently hiring a sport scientist, along with putting everything in place at the practice facility for sport science to be a success.
The best part of the summer by far was to see so many already successful sport coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, and sports medicine professionals be so progressive and look for alternative / new ways to do things. These were not coaches and staff that were up against the rack and at risk of losing their jobs. They were already good. This is such a positive sign.
What is happening at the 1-A football program and NBA team are firsts at their respective levels and is very exciting for sport science in this country. We hope to continue to assist progress in sport at all levels in the future. The next major step in this is our Coaches and Sport Science College in October. We hope to see you there!