Historically, getting an edge in sports focused mainly on improving training techniques. More recently, we’ve seen an increased focus on the collection and utilization of data. Coach Craig Pickering looks at machine learning and data mining, and explains what coaches and athletes can gain from these emerging sport practices.
In this final part of a three-part series on 10 questions sports science could help to answer, Coach Pickering looks at the importance of including underrepresented populations in research studies. He also ponders the possibility of determining an individual’s response to training ahead of the actual training, as well as the lowest effective dose of caffeine necessary to enhance performance.
After reading an article on sports science’s failing, Craig Pickering began to think about areas in the realm of sport where both athletes and coaches could benefit from additional research. This is Part 2 of a weekly, three-part series in which Coach Pickering examines 10 important questions whose answers could make a notable impact on strength and conditioning.
A recently published article on sports science’s failing got Craig Pickering thinking about different areas where both athletes and coaches could benefit from more research. This is Part 1 of a weekly three-part series in which Coach Pickering examines 10 important questions whose answers could make a big impact on the industry.
Despite the increased popularity of intermittent fasting, there’s little research about its effectiveness with elite athletes. This article explores the research and applies the findings to determine whether this style of eating is appropriate for high-level athletes or recreational athletes.
According to some, science is currently experiencing a replication crisis, whereby researchers are unable to replicate other’s research findings when redoing the same experiments. Craig Pickering looks at the role of p-hacking and, to a lesser extent, HARKing, as two main drivers of this alleged replication crisis. He also presents some ways that research journals are working to guard against both.
While researchers have examined how a pre-training or competition dose of caffeine directly impacts sporting performance, we need a wider conversation as to how caffeine fits into an athlete’s lifestyle and how this may impact performance at the time when the athlete most needs a performance boost—in competition.
There’s a very real possibility that increases in muscle size do not correlate well with increases in muscle strength. If true, this could mean that the standard hypertrophy phase of training is less important and may not even need to be programmed in sports where hypertrophy itself is not crucial.
Do early chronotypes select morning sports or does early morning training cause a chronotype shift? Understanding an athlete’s chronotype and its impact on their performance may help develop the optimal training program.
Ultimately, what gets done in practice—as well as what doesn’t—carries over into competition. Craig Pickering considers the way that potential solutions to improve penalty shoot-out results in soccer can be applied to develop better sprint relay performance.