Science of sport essay

A clear demonstration for the evolution and propagation towards computer science in sport is also the fact that nowadays people do research in this area all over the world. Since the s many new national and international organizations regarding the topic of computer science in sport were established. These associations are regularly organizing congresses and workshops with the aim of dissemination as well as exchange of scientific knowledge and information on all sort of topics regarding the interdisciplinary discipline.

The European community was also among the leading motors of the emergence of the field. Some workshops on this topic were successfully organized in Germany since the late s. In the first international meeting on computer science in sport was held in Cologne. The main aim was to spread out and share applications, ideas and concepts of the use of computers in sports, which should also make a contribution to the creation of internationalization and thus to boost research work in this area.

Since then, such international symposia took place every two years all over Europe.

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As the first conferences were a raving success, it was decided to go even further and the foundation of an organization was the logical consequence. A few years earlier, the first international e-journal on this topic International Journal of Computer Science in Sport was released already.

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The internationalization is confirmed moreover by the fact that three conferences already took place outside of Europe - in Calgary Canada in , Canberra Australia in and Shanghai China in During the symposium in Calgary additionally the president position changed - it has been assigned to Prof. Arnold Baca, who has been re-elected in and During the conference in Istanbul Prof. He was re-elected in , and In addition to the international associations from above, currently the following national associations on computer science in sport exist if available, the web addresses are also given :.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science. Applied Mathematics and Computation. The same conclusion apples to the Certified Athletic Trainer; hence the United States Olympic athlete in will have the services of an experienced and better prepared medical staff than was possible years ago.

Although a complete medical examination is considered routine before participation in athletic competition, and especially before strenuous events, this has not always been the situation Allman When a death occurred in the marathon at the Games, medical examinations became required for these long distance runners in Ryan Subsequently, medical examinations became required for all contestants. Visual examination for sex determination had an unpopular and short period before genotyping of sexual differences by buccal mucosa smear was initiated in Ryan This procedure is no longer used, but genotyping continues based upon hair sample analysis Ryan, personal communication.

In the past several decades, the most universal method to prevent pre-season and post-season athletic injuries is strength and power training. Although these programs are emphasized to increase muscle mass and to enhance performance, they can help reduce the magnitude of an injury and its duration Kraemer and Baechle Requiring boxers and cyclists to wear helmets and having clinics for coaches on how to reduce athlete injuries are two additional examples of the progress made through the years. The most dramatic changes in the care, treatment and prevention of athletic injuries during the past years, however, have been in methods used for examination and diagnostic purposes.

Although auscultation, inspection, mensuration, palpitation, percussion and succussion Flint are diagnostic techniques still practiced today in determining the physical status of an athlete, the use of technological procedures associated with arthroscopy, arthrography, computed tomography CT , magnetic resonance imaging MRI , radiography, radionuclide scintigraphy and ultrasonography have provided a dimension and direction for the care of athletes that was inconceivable a century ago Irrgang et al.

Not only have the developments in technology facilitated the correctness of diagnosis, they have improved the surgical treatment of the injury and markedly reduced the duration and scope of the recovery period.

A case in point is the use of the arthroscope for diagnosis as well as for select surgical treatments for injuries to the ankle, elbow, knee and shoulder Irrgang et al. Even though endoscopes were used in the s to examine the human knee, and arthroscopic techniques were introduced in , their acceptance for widespread use with athletic injuries did not materialize until the s Stanish et al. Because the clinical use of CT and MRI scans did not exist three decades ago, one may conclude that the progress in diagnosis has been a recent development. Furthermore, changes in technology have enhanced the use of muscle testing for diagnostic as well as for therapeutic and training purposes Heyward In the ancient Olympic Games, sprained ankles were treated by bleeding and application of dressing that contained ointments Ryan Fortunately, this approach was abolished before the first modern Olympic Games.

Because the treatment of athletic injuries is a complex subject—with a scope beyond the purpose of this symposium—I will mention only a few examples of changes. A century ago, the application of heat and cold to acute athletic injuries was extensively practiced. However, the use of heat is no longer advocated for such purposes, and cryotherapy has become the modality for use in the initial treatment and for rehabilitation of musculo-skeletal injuries Loane For many decades, injured and repaired tissues were immobilized for extended periods of time before it was recognized that immobilized joints and limbs resulted in deleterious anatomical and physiological changes to bone, ligament, muscle and tendon.

Consequently, the frequency and duration of immobilization for athletic injuries and their surgical repair have been dramatically reduced in recent decades Tipton and Vailas Prolonged inactivity is no longer prescribed for athletes recovering from severe trauma or surgical interventions, and passive motion is advocated to assist the healing process Tipton and Vailas Although this topic is discussed in greater detail by other symposium speakers, it is noteworthy that in few American scientists had conducted detailed dietary analyses of athletic or working populations, and none had studied Olympic competitors.

Data that they published revealed that the athletes consumed a diet that consisted of Although Olympic performers were studied at the games, no dietary investigations were performed. Dietary characteristics of female and male Olympians endurance competitors of recent years have revealed patterns of In essence, these fragmentary data suggest that the last years have seen a reduction in dietary fat, coupled with a modest increase in carbohydrate consumption. Moreover, it appears that the dietary knowledge concerning benefits of carbohydrate consumption for endurance performance has not been effectively utilized by Olympic athletes.

Because this value markedly exceeds the daily dietary requirements for the Tour de France, it is unclear what specific Olympic performers the McDonald Corporation used as the reference population. Olympic performances have markedly improved since Fig. Principles advocated by trainers and followed by athletes during the early years were a composite of Galen's concepts, personal observations, experiences of the trainers and various word-of-mouth theories Park In , after the New York Athletic Club defeated the London Athletic Club in 12 events, the British press credited the stunning defeat to the weather, availability of a training table, and to paid coaches Park It is interesting that very little was mentioned about differences in training methods, because the fundamental principles had yet to be verified or confirmed by experimental investigation.

In addition, the majority of textbooks available to coaches or athletes contained information that lacked scientific credibility Park Examination of selected training manuals, exercise physiology reviews or textbooks published before Dawson , Maclaren , Reidman , Schneider , Schneider and Karpovich , Steinhaus reveals that scientific investigations on the validity of training methods are surprisingly absent. Reidman mentioned that training used the principles of continuous use, intensity of use, drive, persistence, and alternation of rest and exertion.

Unfortunately, she provided no quantitative examples or evidence that substantiated her statements.


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Although there is intrinsic value in such an approach, it is incomplete in assessing and maximizing the potential of a performer, prescribing an individualized training program, or evaluating athletic progress. In the s and thereafter, these activities and approaches were assumed by the governing bodies of the various Olympic sports, and much testing and evaluation were conducted at the USOC Olympic Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado Kearney Because the training prescription is dependent upon a maximal response, the development, verification and perfection of training principles followed standardization of the VO 2 max testing procedures Taylor et al.

The concept of training specificity was formulated by Henry in Scheuer and Tipton , whereas aspects related to intensity, duration, frequency and rest were extensively investigated and defined during subsequent decades Fox Despite the legendary feats of strength by the ancient Greek wrestler Milo and his reported daily training routine of lifting a calf that subsequently developed into a bull Finley and Pleket , Karpovich , the concept of overload as a means to increase strength and power is attributed to Roux in Karvinen and Komi However, this concept was not officially defined and scientifically investigated until the s Hellenbrandt and Houtz This fact, coupled with publication of the principles for progressive resistive training for muscles, i.

It was not until that sport physiology was applied to sports training, and training principles were incorporated into various methods currently used by both recreational and elite athletes. Specifically, acceleration sprints, circuit training, continuous fast running, continuous slow running, Farlek training, interval training, jogging and repetition running Fox Table 3 provides an example of a prescription for aerobic training for a runner training for a km race Costill The application of training principles for a km race 1. Table modified from information presented by Costill for wk 7 of training program designed for an individual to compete in a km race.

In recent years, another time-practiced method used by athletes has been verified and quantified as a training principle for select swimmers, namely, tapering. Swimming performance before a competitive meet can be maintained or increased by reducing the amount of work performed while increasing the power output over a 7- to d tapering period Costill et al.

It has been suggested that Loues, winner of the marathon at the Athens Olympic Games, followed the principle of interval training although unaware of the concept Messinesi In many situations, their innate ability, experience, intuition and judgment were more than adequate for their specific event. On the other hand, the scientific knowledge and understanding gained during the past several decades on training principles, the assessment of athletic potential, and the evaluation of performance should enable athletes to establish new records in the next century.

In ancient Greece, women were forbidden to attend or to participate in athletic events at Olympia, even though they were allowed to drive chariots in the opening day races Finley and Pleket These beliefs and practices did not prevent the woman runner Melpomene from requesting permission to participate in the Olympic marathon. When her request was denied, she ran and completed the event some 4.

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The Greek press vigorously chastised the IOC for not allowing Melpomene to compete, but the objections had no impact on the committee Messinesi Women were allowed to participate in the Olympics, but only in tennis. Four years later, they were permitted to compete in archery, and in , only after much debate, the IOC scheduled a m swim for females Messinesi , Wels After World War I, participation of women in the Olympics was pursued with much vigor by various interest groups, and a limited track and swimming competition was scheduled for women at the Olympics of and Wels Because the pressure for more female participation intensified, the IOC scheduled, on a trial basis, competition for women in six events: discus throw, high jump, m race, m relay, m race and gymnastics Messinesi , Wels The m race, however, was a disaster for advocates of distance running for women because several of the slower and poorly conditioned contestants collapsed at the finish line.

This ending to the m race reinforced the beliefs of the IOC members that running events that lasted longer than 2 min were too strenuous for women. These changes occurred because of several factors; namely, World War II had demonstrated that women had the ability to perform many muscular tasks performed by men, and that Russian and East German women were successful in post-war Olympics. Other factors were social and political forces responsible for implementation of Title IX of the Educational Assistance Act of in the United States, and the fact that sports medicine research demonstrated that women had the physiological capacity to perform athletic events that previously had been considered suitable only for men.

Despite this progress in scheduling longer-distance running events in the Olympics, the IOC and its medical advisors continued to ignore the marathon result of Melpomene, the accomplishments of women who ran a mile marathon in South Africa Comrades Marathon , and the 83 women who completed the Boston Marathon unofficially between and Kusick However, when it became apparent to medical and nonmedical authorities that women were anatomically, biochemically and physiologically able to successfully complete long-distance running events without peril or injury, the IOC scheduled a m and marathon race for women at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles Wels Moreover, as documented in Table 2 , only recently have representatives from IOC and sports medicine been vigorous in promoting participation of women in Olympic competition Borish An intrinsic component of both ancient and modern Olympic Games is to provide fair and equal opportunities for all participants, and since the modern revival it has been the responsibility of the IOC to safeguard this legacy.

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The IOC is also obligated to protect the health of all participants and to defend the ethics of medical practices at the games. Further, it is the duty of the Medical Commission of the IOC to provide the leadership, regulation and supervision necessary to fulfill these responsibilities DeMerode An ergogenic or performance aid is defined as any substance or method used to enhance athletic performance.


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Because the substance could be hormonal epinephrine , medicative antibiotic , nutritional glucose , pharmaceutical amphetamine or therapeutic aspirin , and because the method could be as diverse as either training or infusion of red blood cells, it is essential that the IOC have rigorous definitions and strict guidelines regarding what constitutes legal or illegal ergogenic aids. Unfortunately, such definitions and guidelines have not always been available, monitored or upheld by the IOC during the past years.

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As early as the 3rd century B. Moreover, Roman gladiators used alkaloids such as strychnine to improve their chances for survival in the arena Voy A wide range of ergogenic substances has been documented since , including alcohol, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, caffeine, cocaine, ethyl ether, erythropoietin, growth hormone, heroine, nitroglycerin and strychnine Voy , Williams During the Olympic Games in St. Louis, Missouri, the marathon winner received brandy and several strychnine tablets during the race, administered by physicians who followed him throughout Giller Unfortunately, the process was not very effective, and athletes were able to avoid detection Williams Although the original IOC statements concerning doping have been modified twice since , the definition and intent remain the same Voy , Williams In addition to amphetamine use, it generally was known in the late s and middle s that some athletes used anabolic steroids as ergogenic aids before Olympic and non-Olympic competitions.

However, it was not until that their use was banned by the IOC Voy Related stories may be detailed about use of blood doping, erythropoietin or growth hormone. In essence, sports medicine recommendations and actions taken since have been notoriously slow and cautious in addressing and monitoring use of substances or methods that transgress the spirit of the modern Olympics and violate the ethics of medical practice and athletic competition.

Summarized in Table 4 are the listings by the USOC Drug Education and Doping Program of the prohibited classes of substances, prohibited methods and drug classes that contain specified restrictions.

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Although it is tempting to credit sports medicine as being responsible for the increases in performance that have occurred since Fig. Throughout my presentation I have emphasized that individual and group athletic performance in a competitive environment has been a primary reason for the acceptance, promotion and continuance of the Olympic Games since Atlanta, Georgia, will be the site of the XXIV Olympiad of the modern era and will likely witness the establishment of new Olympic and world performance records, a characteristic of previous games.

These improvements in athletic performance can be explained, in part by the contributions from sports medicine, and the focus of my presentation has been to identify those contributions. However, the presence and influence of sports medicine in the organization and conduct of the Olympic Games, or in establishing athletic performance records, could be described as being limited, cautious or ineffective for many decades because of the collective effects of a lack of the necessary critical mass in scientific information, a dearth of qualified and dedicated personnel, absence of professional organizations, reluctance to change social and cultural customs, and minimal public and financial support.

Because improvements in athletic performance have variable subjective and objective components, it is difficult to assign a date that convincingly validates the influences of sport medicine. But for reasons identified in this presentation, by the s and s the influences of sports medicine were noticeable and important. Moreover, when the next years of progress are evaluated, this fact will become even more important.