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This article introduces performance analysis and nutrition with useful links to relevant websites
University of Hull student placing a GPS tracker on to the back of a participant

Within elite sport, there are lots of people that are all working together to achieve success. Whilst on the outside we may only see the manager or head coach and the players/athletes, there is much more going on behind the scenes. Have a read of this Guardian news article describing the backroom staff supporting the England Men’s football team.

Sport scientists can play key roles within elite sport and their day-to-day job can actually be quite varied. They work with the coaches, the rehabilitation staff, the nutritionists…and anyone else that is involved in supporting the players. One aspect of this role is ensuring training and matches are monitored with the Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers accurately. This data is then analysed and used to help the coaches understand important information about performance, but also to help plan the training for individual players. For example; if a player ran 10km in a game and they usually only cover 7km, their training may have to be adapted to ensure they recover properly. You can read more from Hull Alumni Frankie Hunter in this Training Ground Guru article about her role as Academy Head of Sports Science and Strength and Conditioning at Middlesbrough FC.

Within football and rugby especially, the role of a performance analyst has been growing over the years as our understanding of tactics, coaching techniques and the loads associated with different movements or activities has developed. Alongside our understanding, advancement of technology has allowed staff to more accurately monitor and track the players; so we have a vast array of data to analyse that can inform the players and coaches about their performance. This can apply to both your team and the opposition; by analysing previous games and tactics of your opponents, you can create specific game plans for each team to try and maximise chances of winning. Have a read of this article about Performance Analysis to find out more or check out the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport website (ISPAS).

Sports nutrition has also grown as an industry as we’ve gained more knowledge about the role foods play in fuelling for, as well as recovering from, different physical activities. You can read about nutrition support in elite sport through this EIS article. Not only do sports nutritionists help athletes with their nutrition, but also the general public. You will have no doubt seen adverts, influencer endorsements or other social media posts about the latest ‘diet’ or ‘loose weight fast!’ slogans about products. Sports nutritionists can also play a role here by educating people about appropriate, safe and effective ways to achieve certain goals.

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Introduction to Sport, Health, and Rehabilitation Sciences at University

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