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A psychologist meets with an endurance athlete who reports that she is finding training hard, feels she gets tired too quickly and feels she has to stop. The athlete describes a training session
where this occurred and it’s clear that she is sensitive to physical changes in her body that occur when exercising. When she starts exercising, a warning system that comes in the form of a
voice in the back of her mind giving a message of “hold on, we need to be careful
here….hold on……..this seems demanding, I need to slow down"...
What should the psychologist do? Start working on trying to control that inner voice? That is certainly an option. However, the client gives more information on her recent medical history,
her training, and her diet. It emerges that she has had an injury that influenced her performance over the previous 12 months, and whilst she thinks it has cleared up, she also acknowledges
that she wished she sought help earlier. As the client describes her training programme, diet, and sleep patterns and alarm bells start to ring in the psychologist's mind. It's clear that this is an
issue routed in a number of different disciplines. At this point, the psychologist pauses to reflect and consider how to proceed. The psychologist ponders over questions such as; “I wonder
what help would be offered if she saw a physiologist and they discussed her training, or what a nutritionist might say about her, or what a physician might say about her
How fellow professionals approached this case would be interesting. In terms of practice, it is common for an athlete to see someone from one discipline and then go onto to see a
practitioner from a different discipline. The psychologist could ask themselves “if she went to a physiologist first, how might that affect what I would do, and how I might work?” Practitioners
working in sport and exercise science and medicine encounter cases like this frequently. Whilst research provides evidence based upon the mean response of a group of athletes to a given
intervention; an individualised approach for a population of N=1 is required to optimise outcome. Each case will be different and require a solution that fits the assessment. How might
someone learn the skills and knowledge to do such a task? This book, Case studies in Applied Sport Science and Medicine was developed to help fulfil this need.
There has been a need for a book such as Case studies in Applied Sport Science and Medicine for some time. Applied Sport Science and Medicine has become an integral part of the
high-performance environment in recent years despite the relative youth of the discipline. Early work in sport science and sports medicine attempted to adopt approaches employed
in the established disciplines of science and medicine. There has been growing recognition that a multidisciplinary support team should act in an interdisciplinary manner to optimise their impact
on health and performance. Athletes require information to be given in a user-friendly way and will tend to see issues in a holistic way, raising questions such as “what does this mean to
me?” and “is my training going to produce the results when I want it to?”
Although the terms multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary have become part of normal parlance in the support environment, very few teams provide a truly interdisciplinary approach. This is not
criticism of professionals or an excessively bold claim, but recognition of the fact that sport and exercise science and medicine has placed emphasis in its research and practice on developing
subject-specific experts, such as sport psychologists, physiologists, and so on. Indeed, the perceived complexity of interdisciplinary support has resulted in many practitioners simply not
knowing how an interdisciplinary approach should operate, or even could operate.
Central to the development of a high-quality sport science and medicine support service is the shared understanding of the role of practitioners from different fields. It is not enough to be an
expert in your own field; you must be knowledgeable about all aspects of sport science and medicine support and understand how best to utilise the expertise of others to optimise performance.
The transferability of knowledge across disciplines is the key to success. Much like the relationship between coach and support staff, the transfer of knowledge is not a one-way process. The
ability to explain your discipline-specific
work to others is as important as their ability to articulate their intervention. Practitioners, coaches and athletes need to move closer together as a unit in order to enhance knowledge and
practice, and develop as a team. Few resources exist to support this transferability of knowledge across disciplines; Case Studies in Sport Science and Medicine provides examples of how world-
leading practitioners accomplish this complex aspect of support.
We divided the book into three sections.
1. The Reactive Model: Providing solutions for pre-existing problems
2. The Predictive Model: Providing solutions for events that are predicted to occur
3. The Proactive Model: Providing on-going support and developing interdisciplinary teams
In the first section we look at how practitioners work with pre-existing issues. It is common for practitioners to work with clients with issues that have been diagnosed and identified. In many
ways, this is the “textbook” approach as it allows the practitioner to do some research on the issue, find out the latest research and then consider whether to use in her or his practice. However,
the nature of applied work means that each case is unique and the application of one treatment to what can initially look like a similar condition can throw up a plethora of unknowns and a
number of “ifs and “buts." The take-home message is that the treatment presented by the practitioner is very different to what it looks like in the manual; or it can be. This section of the book
illustrates this issue and brings some world-leading practitioners to the table.
The second section focuses on a number of themes in which the future competitive environment is known and so can be planned for. These include preparing to cope with the rigours of
extreme climates, preparing for success in multiple events at one competition, addressing training either to boost performance or prevent injury and addressing the challenge of optimal
hydration and nutrition. Without appropriate planning for "any and all" eventualities, preparation is suboptimal and there are greater risks then that the athlete will not perform to his or her best.
The World’s best athletes and their coaches in any given sport have two major things in common: the best athletes are all very similar in terms of anatomy and physiology and the best coaches
are excellent organisers, managers and strategists. So in preparing for anything at the elite level (competition or training) ‘leave no stone unturned’ is the all-important mantra. To achieve this,
the requirement for expertise has grown as there is greater need for more and more accurate assessment and interpretation of the specialised sports science and medicine data that
increasingly contributes to diminishing margins of success.
In the third section, we examine how sports scientists provide ongoing support. For example, a sports medic is working with the client, possibly listening to her or him describe the
rehabilitation training from an injured knee. The consultant gets a hint that the client is struggling with the injury, and that rehabilitation is not being done at the intensity that it should be. The
athlete appears to be saying what is expected rather what has happened. The sports medic wishes he had a sports science team sitting in residence in his mind, so she/he could address the
issue from an interdisciplinary perspective. This section of the book works along those lines, detailing cases where practitioners are working in an interdisciplinary way and as such offers some
fabulous insights into applied work.
In recognition of the need for a bespoke, individual tailored approach, this book examines examples of support from a case study perspective across the broad range of sport science and
medicine disciplines written by recognised world leaders. This book provides 29 case studies covering physiology,
psychology, biomechanics, motor control and performance analysis, nutrition, strength and conditioning and sports medicine. Each case study is presented in a structured format providing a
vignette of the case with key information including the challenges faced. The vignette is followed by a contemporary review of the key literature in the field informing the decision-making process
involved in the case study and related differential diagnoses and interventions. The case study is concluded by presenting the intervention and outcome. Each case study is followed by a
commentary from another world leader drawing out salient points, expanding the discussion and giving personal insight.
Practitioners, athletes, students and anyone interested in sport should find the content of these case studies relevant and useful; they are diverse and
capture the range of issues consultants face. Overall, Case Studies in Sport Science and Medicine offers a unique and valuable collection of case studies in a wide range of sport science and
medicine disciplines written by world leaders in the field of high-performance sport for those working in the field of sports science and medicine
- “How do I cope with the demands of intense training in the build-up for
- “How do I plan to fuel performing in an ironman?”
- “How do I prepare to perform well in extreme environments”?
- “How do I come back from a serious injury?”
These are the type of questions that this book provides answers about through 29 different
case studies covering physiology, psychology, biomechanics, motor control and performance
analysis, nutrition, strength and conditioning and sports medicine.
The book is divided into three sections.
1. The Reactive Model: Providing solutions for pre-existing problems such as coping
2. The Predictive Model: Providing solutions for events that are predicted to occur
3. The Proactive Model: Providing on-going support and developing interdisciplinary
Practitioners, athletes, students and anyone interested in sport should find the content of
these case studies relevant and useful; they are diverse and capture the range of issues
Case Studies in Sport Science and Medicine offers a unique and valuable collection of
case studies in a wide range of sport science and medicine disciplines written by world leaders
in the field of high-performance sport for those working in the field of sports science and
Fuelling an Ironman World Champion, Asker Jeukendrup..Read more
Working as a physiologist in professional soccer. Barry Drust. Read more
Making the weight: case-studies from professional boxing,
James P Morton and Graeme L Close, Read more
Observations of Dietary Intake and Potential Nutritional Demands of a National
Football Squad. Justin Roberts. Read more