Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Exploring sport coaching and psychology

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1 Where next in coaching and exercise?

Gazing into the future can be fascinating and can be used to help identify some of the main themes that are starting to influence coaching and instructional practice today. Throughout this session, you will consider how much of what you see or read is verifiable with evidence.

Activity 1 What sporting future?

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Watch the following video [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , in which Michael Johnson hears from sporting professionals on what they think the future of sport holds. Can you identify three to five overall themes that are shaping the future of sport? To give an example, one of the themes is clearly about technological developments.

Download this video clip.Video player: What sporting future: risks and rewards
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
What sporting future: risks and rewards
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


Contributors talked about the impact of the ‘technological revolution’ on sport, which includes the development of prosthetic devices. The timescale of these technological advances was quoted as being since about 2010. Another speaker claimed that our understanding of how the body works and, in particular, nutrition and the muscular fuelling systems, will lead to future improvements in performance. Perhaps a less tangible leap forward was suggested to be in the increased knowledge of cognition (mental actions and processes), including human ‘spirit’ and creativity.

Further advances are likely, as a result of worldwide access to sport being broadened; it was claimed that groups of the world’s population may be discovered that have a genetic predisposition to respond to training extremely well and therefore have sporting potential (termed ‘trainability’). The caveat to these possible developments was that governing organisations in sport need to keep up with such progress in order to maintain fair, balanced competition. Also, notice how it is useful to frame most of these developments as ‘claims’ at this stage, until the evidence of their impacts become clear.

In summary we can say that technological innovation in sport and exercise will a) increase human performance and b) increase the ability to monitor the working of the body and/or mind.

If you want to understand more about a very real example of technological augmentation, you may want to read this article about a Paralympic long jumper, Should ‘Blade Jumper’ Markus Rehm be allowed in the Olympics?

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371