by Dr William Hornsby III, PhD, CSCS,*D, Benjamin Gleason, PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC, Kristen Dieffenbach, PhD, Clive Brewer, MS, CSCS, and Michael Stone, PhD, CSCS, FNSCA
NSCA Coach December 2021
Vol 8, Issue 3
In coach education resources, guidance for effective coaching in any context involves understanding and manipulating details and optimizing processes (11,17). Multiple challenges exist that may reduce coach effectiveness in every coaching context. Because of the voluminous tasks inherent in running a sport team, most coaches will benefit from infrastructure provided to support them. This point is demonstrated well by the development of the strength and conditioning field several decades ago and the proliferation of jobs across the sport industry. As it may be observed in professional and Olympic-level sport, it is also possible for intercollegiate coaches to benefit from further specialist support, such as the assistance of a sport scientist—a formally trained individual who specializes in applying the scientific method to sport in order to enhance player performance, maximize player availability, and maintain player health (4,8).
Recently, an increase in sport science (SS) opportunity has emerged within intercollegiate sport. This has been generally brought about by sport coaches and athletic directors who seek to better inform their processes of training and optimize performance. In many ways, this trend has been fueled by the proliferation of sport technology, despite the reality that validity, reliability, and interpretability are still ongoing concerns for many emergent technologies that have not been exposed to sufficient scientific rigor. Ultimately, SS aims to use an applied scientific process to aid coaches’ decision-making processes and enhance athlete development in competitive sporting environments (8,14). If performed optimally, this process involves an uninterrupted loop of collecting quality data, accurately interpreting the data, and disseminating relevant information to stakeholders within an appropriate timeline (1,2,6,14,15,17,20). This process involves a spectrum of low-tech and high-tech tools with the intent to inform coaching decisions.
This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »
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