NSCA Textbook Cover

Picture of Duncan FrenchDuncan French

Duncan French is the vice president of performance at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Performance Institute and has more than 20 years of experience working with elite professional and Olympic athletes. Prior to joining the UFC, French was the director of performance sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a technical lead for strength and conditioning at the English Institute of Sport.

Lorena Torres Ronda

Lorena Torres Ronda has extensive experience as a high-performance specialist in professional and Olympic sports. She has served as the performance director for the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the sport scientist and research and development coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), and the sport scientist and strength and conditioning coach for the F.C. Barcelona basketball team and the Spanish national swimming team. Additionally, she has been a part of the NBA scientific committee.

Textbook Description

Meeting a Growing Need

Performance and sport scientists are in demand more than ever before. Not only are researchers at universities and academic institutions scientifically investigating methods and best practices to improve sport and athletic performance, but collegiate athletic teams, professional sports organizations, and private training companies are applying evidence-based scientific principles to expand the limits of athletic potential, identify key areas related to team success, and support a broad spectrum of athletes to gain a competitive advantage.

Comprehensive Sport Science Theory and Application

NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science features 52 globally-recognized industry leaders across the multiple disciplines of human performance and sport science. It expands on the key scientific underpinnings of sport science—physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, nutrition, and skill development—to address the use of data analysis, load monitoring, and performance technology. The sport scientist’s role is central throughout, including knowledge of training theory, determining and evaluating key performance indicators, conducting athlete monitoring and assessments, and managing and disseminating complex performance information. The integration of scientific methodology and applied technical skills will guide sport scientists in drawing conclusions aimed at supporting or re-envisioning training methods, contributing towards competition strategy, and improving athletes’ overall readiness and performance.

Gain Vital Knowledge to Advance Professionally

The ground-breaking textbook presents a holistic overview of the scientific principles, knowledge, and expertise to support athletic and team performance as a modern-day sport scientist. It further defines professional roles and scope of practice for existing and aspiring sport scientists within interdisciplinary high performance athletic programs, in addition to assisting candidates for the NSCA’s The Certified Performance and Sport Scientist (CPSS) certification exam. Readers will come away with advanced knowledge of current performance and sport science practices, and the analytical tools to employ scientific processes to maximize athletic performance and optimize communication within sporting organizations.   


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Be sure to download the supplemental chapter:

Periodization and Programming for Team Sports
by Benjamin H. Gleason, PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC

Table of Contents

  • Part I: Training Theory and Process

    Chapter 1. Performance Dimensions
    Nick Winkelman, PhD, and Darcy Norman, PT

    Chapter 2. Training Load Model
    Stuart Cormack, PhD, and Aaron J. Coutts, PhD

    Chapter 3. Periodization and Programming for Individual Sports
    G. Gregory Haff, PhD

    Chapter 4. Periodization and Programming for Team Sports
    Martin Buchheit, PhD, and Paul Laursen, PhD

  • Part II: Needs Analysis

    Chapter 5. Key Performance Indicators

    Marco Cardinale, PhD

    Chapter 6. Profiling and Benchmarking
    Mike McGuigan, PhD

  • Part III: Technology and Data Preparation

    Chapter 7. Technological Implementation
    Lorena Torres Ronda, PhD

    Chapter 8. Data Hygiene
    Matthew C. Varley, PhD, Ric Lovell, PhD, and David Carey, PhD

  • Part IV: External and Internal Load Data Collection

    Chapter 9. Characteristics of Tracking Systems and Load Monitoring
    Jo Clubb, MSc, and Andrew M. Murray, PhD

    Chapter 10. Analysis of Tracking Systems and Load Monitoring
    Andrew M. Murray, PhD, and Jo Clubb, MSc

    Chapter 11. Kinematics and Gait Analysis
    Enda King, PhD, and Chris Richter, PhD

    Chapter 12. Kinetics and Force Platforms
    Daniel Cohen, PhD, and Cory Kennedy, MSc

    Chapter 13. Strength Tracking and Analysis
    Jean-Benoît Morin, PhD, and Pierre Samozino, PhD

    Chapter 14. Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability
    Joel Jamieson

    Chapter 15. Electroencephalography and Electroneuromyography
    Roman N. Fomin, PhD, and Cassandra C. Collins, BS

    Chapter 16. Biomarkers for Health and Performance
    Xavier Schelling i del Alcázar, PhD, Julio Calleja-González, PhD, and Nicolás Terrados, MD, PhD

    Chapter 17. Perception of Effort and Subjective Monitoring
    Shaun J. McLaren, PhD, Aaron J. Coutts, PhD, and Franco M. Impellizzeri, PhD

  • Part V: Data Analysis and Delivery

    Chapter 18. Statistical Modeling
    Mladen Jovanović, Lorena Torres Ronda, PhD, and Duncan N. French, PhD

    Chapter 19. Injury Risk Model
    Johann Windt, PhD, and Tim Gabbett, BHSc (Hons), PhD

    Chapter 20. Data Mining and Nonlinear Data Analysis
    Sam Robertson, PhD

    Chapter 21. Data Delivery and Reporting
    Tyler A. Bosch, PhD, and Jacqueline Tran, PhD

    Chapter 22. Performance Interventions and Operationalizing Data
    Clive Brewer, BSc (Hons), MSc

  • Part VI: Special Topics

    Chapter 23. Recovery and Sleep
    Jessica M. Stephens, PhD, and Shona L. Halson, PhD

    Chapter 24. Fueling and Nutrition
    Louise M. Burke, PhD, and Eric S. Rawson, PhD

    Chapter 25. Environmental Stress
    Yasuki Sekiguchi, PhD, Courteney L. Benjamin, PhD, and Douglas J. Casa, PhD

    Chapter 26. Psychobiology: Flow State as a Countermeasure to Mental Fatigue
    Chris P. Bertram, PhD

    Chapter 27. Neuroscience Approach to Performance
    Roman N. Fomin, PhD, and Cassandra C. Collins, BS

    Chapter 28. Motor Performance
    Gabriele Wulf, PhD

    Chapter 29. Sport Science of Injury
    David Joyce, BPhty (Hons), MPhty (Sports), MSc, and Kay Robinson, BSc (Hons)

  • Part VII: Education and Communication

    Chapter 30. Interdisciplinary Support
    Duncan N. French, PhD

    Chapter 31. Information Dissemination
    Yann Le Meur, PhD

  • Bibliographic Information


    NSCA's Essentials of Sport Science


    NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Duncan French, Lorena Torres Ronda


    Human Kinetics, 2022


    1492593354, 9781492593355


    576 pages



This is an excerpt from NSCA's Essentials of Sport Science by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Duncan N. French & Lorena Torres-Ronda.

By Duncan N. French, PhD

Supporting athletes to maximize their performance has not always been interdisciplinary. Indeed, as the performance sciences (e.g., physiology, medical services, strength and conditioning, dietetics) have evolved over roughly the past century, technical disciplines have matured at different rates (i.e., the world’s first sports medicine establishment took shape in the early 1900s, whereas strength and conditioning coaching became popular only in the late 1960s), and as a consequence the foresight to integrate and collaborate has not...

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This is an excerpt from NSCA's Essentials of Sport Science by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Duncan N. French & Lorena Torres-Ronda.

By Johann Windt, PhD, and Tim Gabbett, BHSc (Hons), PhD

Athlete workloads and subsequent adaptation are fundamental sport science principles (14, 15, 82). The concepts of training load modeling and external and internal workload are covered in greater detail in chapter 2 and part IV of this text. Much of the traditional workload research dealt with performance modeling (8, 9) or designing workouts like interval training schemes (31). Since 2000 (especially since 2010), there has been an exponential rise in...

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This is an excerpt from NSCA's Essentials of Sport Science by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Duncan N. French & Lorena Torres-Ronda.

By Lorena Torres Ronda, PhD

Innovation is associated with technology, but technology is only a form of innovation. Innovation can be defined as the introduction of something new, an idea or behavior in the form of a technology, product, service, structure, system, or process (10). Technology, and the future of technology innovation, must yield scientific knowledge for practical purposes, and the artifacts, devices, equipment, or materials directed to this end should address performance gaps to accomplish specific tasks or to...

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