Sports Science: Week in Review, Jan 30-Feb 5

The Future Has Arrived. It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed Yet.
– William Gibson

The quote is often cited in advanced technology circles but as technology inevitably spreads throughout culture and commerce the statement’s basic truth is happening in sports. The most prominent example in sports of the future’s uneven distribution is coaching. Coaches are changing, but at a slower rate than the coaching profession is changing. Coaches, I feel, are the bottleneck that is delaying the future from arriving on schedule.

Examples of coaches and coaching in flux:

  • Why top athletes and coaches are training the mind as well as the body (PhillyVoice, Christie Mandia)
  • How Dan Quinn Turned the Falcons from a Team into a Brotherhood (Bleacher Report, Dan Pompei)
  • Chelsea Nears a Championship by Excelling at the Predictable (The New York Times, Rory Smith)
  • Anatomy of a play call: From headset to ‘hike!’ (Boston Globe, Ben Vollin)
  • In-need U.S. men’s national team re-enters Bruce’s unchanged arena (, Grant Wahl)
  • Scott Brooks proving to have right touch with Wizards (Yahoo Sports, The Vertical, Michael Lee)
  • Jurgen Klopp has to adapt or Liverpool players could be pushed beyond limit (The Telegraph (UK), Michael Davison)
  • How Arsenal and Arsène Wenger Bought Into Analytics (The New York Times, Rory Smith)
  • Why Bill Belichick cast down his tablet (The Conversation, John Carrier)
  • The NFL’s Newest Mastermind Eyes the Throne (The Ringer, Robert Mays)
  • All sorts of injury prevention, athlete development and other sports science programs are out there. Most have not yet gained widespread adoption. Examples:

  • The systematic development of a cost-effective sports injury prevention programme. (YouTube, Sports Kongres)
  • Timing of Lower Extremity Injuries in Competition and Practice in High School Sports (Sports Health journal)
  • The Hockey Triad – why we should be concerned (FITS TORONTO)
  • Zach LaVine Injury: Wolves Star Dealt Cruel Blow (, Rob Mahoney)
  • Even More NFL Quarterbacks Are Training in VR (Fortune, David Z. Morris)
  • The Road to the Super Bowl Starts with Knee Health (Andrew Barr, Innovate Performance blog)
  • Sporting injuries are on the up and up – here’s what can be done about it (The Conversation, Neil Gibson and Robert McCunn)
  • Why Aren’t There More Fat Baseball Players? (VICE Sports, Christopher Crawford)
  • Cost of injuries to Premier League clubs revealed – Premier League 2016-2017 (Eurosport, PA Sport)
  • The Use of RPE in Team Sports (SimpliFaster Blog, Troy Cole)
  • Thunder staying disciplined in managing Russell Westbrook’s workload (ESPN, Oklahoma City Thunder Blog)
  • Information from sports science demands attention from coaches, but many coaches lack training in how best to process it. Training, educating and replacing coaches with low information bandwidth should improve the situation. Real gains will, I think, come when athletes and athlete support staff demand more and better from the coaches they work for. See:

  • Are academies failing young players? (FourFourTwo, Alec Fenn)
  • Profiling Sports Science 2016 – The Results (Jo Clubb, Sports Discovery blog)
  • Why is West Ham’s academy providing diminishing returns? (These Football Times)
  • Combine prep: Football finishing schools get players ready for testing (All 22, Will Carroll)
  • Learning Confidence and the Limits of Success with the World’s Best Soccer Player (Heleo, Adam Grant and Abby Wambach)
  • John Terry calls on the FA to fast-track former England players into coaching and management (
  • More things that I read and liked last week:

  • The Misunderstood Genius of Russell Westbrook – The New York Times (February 01, The New York Times Magazine, Sam Anderson)
  • Shallow MLS player pool continues to hamper national team (February 04, Los Angeles Times, Kevin Baxter)
  • How the Celtics taught Lakers coach Luke Walton about love and basketball (February 03, ESPN True Hoop, Baxter Holmes)
  • What’s in a Medical? (January 31, Footbal Medic Association)
  • The Brain’s Connections Shrink During Sleep (February 02, The Atlantic, Ed Yong)
  • The Myth of Exercise “Non-Responders” (January 31, Runner’s World, Sweat Science blog, Alex Hutchinson)
  • Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.