Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Exploring sport coaching and psychology

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3 Wearable technology

One device that is modestly priced, very portable and influencing many people is wearable technology. For example, you may have a better understanding of how your body responds by using a wearable device (e.g. measuring sleep patterns, steps taken, skin temperature, heart rate).

Activity 3 Johnson investigates new smart devices

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Watch the video below which has two sections: first, Michael Johnson visits the developers of new smart clothing in the USA and second, he heard from David Brailsford (UK) about a possible future with real-time nutritional aids. How useful are these two innovations likely to be for coaches and sports people?

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Discussion

The prospect of people being able to monitor which muscles are being used and the timing of, for example, leg contractions, might make what was once lab technology far more accessible to coaches and athletes. It was interesting that this clothing device picked up an anomaly in Johnson’s movement due to a previous injury.

In the second part of the video, David Brailsford (cycling coach/performance director) was palpably excited at the possibility of devices monitoring the fuelling state of athletes in real time. This could mean that deciding when and what to eat could become far more refined and could transform approaches to nutrition and training.

There is a lot of hype and excitement about developments and, while you can trust some sources when they speak about these advances, you have to treat many with caution. For example, numerous ambitious claims are made for technological advances on the internet and through social media, but the scientific credibility of some of these is highly questionable. It is worthwhile reflecting on the ways in which you might be able to evaluate the reliability of some of the claims made about ‘sport science’ advances. What clues are there that the claims are realistic and based on sound science? What clues are there that you are being presented with a scam?

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