Term Paper: Sports Science and Sports Medicine

Pages: 9 (2436 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] (Patrick, 2003) This is known as neuromuscular training, these programs seek to enhance balance, body/joint awareness, movement technique and muscle strength, a mixture of biomechanics and physiotherapy. (Patrick, 2003)

When pro-basketball player/coach Korie Hlede tore an ACL five years ago, she began an ACL injury prevention routine that she follows religiously so as to prevent the injury from recurring. (Patrick, 2003) These routines are also followed by many professional and college teams, NCAA Division I women's college soccer players, Norway handball teams, all with significantly improved ACL injury statistics. (Patrick, 2003)

Another area that has developed increasingly in sports science is exercise physiology. It is specifically the study of how people respond to acute and chronic exposure to physical stress in a variety of environmental conditions. ("Sport & Exercise Medicine" 2003) Physiologists study the effect of sea-level, altitude, heat, cold, humidity, oxygen levels, etc. On athletic performance. While keeping the limitations and capabilities of the individual in mind after close collaboration with associated subspecialties such as nutrition, immunology, endocrinology, psychology, an exercise physiologist must determine how a change in environmental factors, both internal and external factors can be made to best optimize sporting ability. ("Sport & Exercise Medicine" 2003, "What We do." 2003)

Though to a large extent individual ability is limited by genes, a sports physiologist can help formulate training programme that would both enhance and utilize all of a sportsperson's potential. ("Sport & Exercise Medicine" 2003) They can help reevaluate the particular phase of training (periodisation) and advice could be given on monitoring the athlete's response to various training stimuli to avoid over-training.

A not so new element in the arena of sports is perhaps the aggressive spirit and stress associated with professional sports. The stakes and level of competition however are higher. A testament to this is the ever increasing example of great athletes using steroids, and other performance enhancing substances to have that slight edge. Millions of dollars and whole careers are now dependent on player performance in single events. Sportspeople and athletic events have become valuable commodities. Thus the mental and behavioral aspects of participation and performance in sports have become an important issue. Sports psychologists are necessary not just for elite sportspersons but can be supportive at al levels of physical activity.

Sports psychology too aims to improve performance and help athletes deal with the pressure of competition. The object is to improve and enhance the exercise experience and keep the athletes in touch with what they love about their sports. Especially when the players are injured and feeling insecure and helpless, a sports psychologist role in assisting rapid rehabilitation is invaluable. They assist not only in improving and stabilizing an individual's emotional and mental state but motivate them for persisting with their exercise program. ("Sport & Exercise Medicine" 2003, "What We do." 2003)

Sports psychology deals with and investigates how athletes prepare themselves for competitions, how they manage their resources during each competition, and how and what they learn from their competitive experiences. ("Sport & Exercise Medicine" 2003, "What We do." 2003) The use of exercise and sports in various psychological disorders such as depression is also assessed. A team psychologist will not only be a guide to help the athletes face new challenges but also an observer of human interaction between the athletes and other players or coach, etc. Driving forces motivating players to stick to their regimens are studied. This helps the psychologist to suggest solutions to difficulties amongst sportspersons or those stemming from the demands of the exercise or sport itself. ("Sport & Exercise Medicine" 2003)

Sports psychologist can help in performance assessment by the player so that the process leads to positive goal-setting, stress management, anxiety control, concentration training, and arousal regulation, utilizing a variety of different techniques and approaches.

Various psychometric instruments such as the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI), the Profile of Mood States (POMS), and the Sports Inventory for Pain (SIP) have been utilized by an increasing number of sport scientists, medical personnel, and coaches to assess coping skills, motivation, self-esteem, precompetitive anxiety, and mood relevant to sport. (Smith 1995) In regards to sport trauma and rehabilitation, coaches and athletes have consistently mentioned a strong relationship between level of pain and physical/psychological dysfunction in several studies. (Meyers, 1992)

Rather than the old concept of simply caring for the injured athlete, the new role of the sports medicine doctor is thus that of providing complete medical care to the athlete. This includes aspects such as preventing injuries and overtraining and ensuring that rehabilitation is appropriate so as to ensure that the player is back at his or her game safely and rapidly. This approach requires the collaboration of a team of specialists that can range from sports nutritionists to psychologists. The technology they use however is gleaned from the discoveries and advances made by researchers applying themselves to the various areas of exercise science so as to improve the approach of professionals that provide sports medical care.

References

Burke, ER, ed.1986. 'Injury prevention for cyclists: a biomechanical approach,' Science of Cycling, Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics Pubs Inc. pp.145-184.

Matheson, G.O. 1999. "Sports Medicine: A Focus on Health," The Physician And Sportsmedicine. vol.27 no.10 October.

Patrick, D. (2003) "Specific exercises may be key to preventing ACL injuries" [Internet] USA Today. Available at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2003-06-24-acl-cover_x.htm.[Accessed 24 November, 2003].

Sport & Exercise Medicine"(2003) [Internet] The National Sports medicine Institute of the United Kingdom. Available at http://www.rescu.org.uk/professions_sport_03.html[Accessed 24 November, 2003].

Stein, S.(2003) "Sports Science Bulletin." [Internet] Peak Performance. Available from: http://www.pponline.co.uk / [Accessed 24 November, 2003].

What We do."… [END OF PREVIEW]

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