Since the dawn of the Olympics in ancient Greece, top physical performance was associated with a grueling preparation of both body and mind. Popular myths state that rigorous training can get all the results, but the truth is much simpler – prior to training hard, you have to train smart. So where do sports sciences come in? We’ve prepared some delicious facts for your mind, that will perhaps inspire you to do some physical activity as well. Let’s get it on.

Sports and Medicine

Parallel with the development of modern medicine, sports sciences also develop at a rapid rate. After all, the former studies the body in hopes of repairing it in case of injury, and the latter focuses on its optimization and superior improvement. Sports and medical sciences (including psychology) have always gone hand in hand, but this connection has only been fully realized in the last century.

Biomechanics in Sports

biomechanics in sportSimply observing the performance of an athlete won’t give you much analytical data. In order to fully measure the activities within the human body, scientists have created a method called sports biomechanics. Using a variety of devices, sports scientists fully measure the processes that occur in the body of an athlete (regardless of the sport). This, however, is only one important stage.

The data is collected in two physical stages – when the athlete is in motion, and when he is at rest. Once collected, scientists can use computer simulation in order to perform various calculations and predictions. Based on their findings, they can recommend a real-world application for the improvement of the athlete’s performance. Some of the aspects observed in Biomechanics are rime, displacement, velocity, speed, kinetics, and others.

Selective Physical Development

Depending on the type of sport, there will be a need that a particular athlete must have a muscle group that is way more developed than any other muscles on their body. For example, cyclists that perform long distance races have remarkably strong legs, while above-the-waist muscle groups are usually much leaner and thin. This gives them the power to propel themselves on variable terrain, while still having a low-weight rating as not to impair their performance.

Sprint runners need to be as slimmer as possible – the performance they give is usually a very short one, but with incredible intensity. Marathon runners on the other hand, need to have a bit more mass as it would serve as fuel for a prolonged running activity. In tandem with Biology, sports scientists and doctors always choose the appropriate measures that need to be taken to prepare an athlete’s body for the sport in question.

Improvement Through Balanced Activity

balanceSports psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, analysts, exercise physiologists, research scientists, and sports medicine doctors, can work on a single athlete! All of those respective specialists will provide a sports performer with the most accurate information, needed to improve their physical fitness in a balanced manner. Moderation in all aspects is key, as it isn’t uncommon to read about severe training injuries due to overlooking even a single aspect – preventing injury is one of the many goals where different sports scientists combine both their knowledge and practice.

Psychology and Physiology are Connected

It is the brain, that makes us want to move, jump, compete, and achieve. The body can get stronger only if the person wants it for real – hence the popular saying “mind over matter”. Psychology is the driver behind the machine, and just like the body needs to be nurtured with the proper food, the mind needs to be taken care of with proper reasoning. It is remarkable, but it is proved that physical exercise has proven to cure depression and improve overall confidence – but in order for that to happen, the brain needs to act first.

Fighting Addiction

An ever-present issue with many young and old people these days is the continuous use of harmful substances and engaging in harmful activities. Recovering from addiction, whether it is from alcohol, drugs or gambling, is a process that involves proper management of psychology, which can be done only with the help of physical exercise.

The process through which a person recovers from addiction with the help of sports works on more or less the same neurological principles. Once the body has gone through several exercise sessions, the brain will start producing the “feeling good” hormones which will satisfy the “cravings” an addict feels. Essentially, the entire process manages to substitute the harmful needs with healthy ones.

Care for the Sport – Care for the Athlete

Nor neatly 60-70 years ago, medical sports science was basically non-existent. A lot of athletes have suffered severe injuries and even death, due to improper training or event participation, however, that link wasn’t proven until the last few decades. In high contact sports such as Rugby and American Football, brain concussions are common. After an extensive neurological scientific study was performed, NFL adopted a variety of safety measures to minimize the risks. Since that particular case, international organizations have made their priority to make sports as safer as possible without impairing it.

There is Much More to Be Done

While many advancements have been done throughout the years in the sector of sports science, there is so much more to discover. The different scientific disciplines in sports not only need each other but rely on one another as well for their progress. Making people feel better, learning how to manage and treat injuries, reaching peak physical and mental performance – this, and much more is available in the world of sports science!