• Question: What is a Sports Scientist and what do they do ?

    Asked by crumpet123 to Pete, Rebecca, SallyB, Sally, Sian on 17 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Sian Lawson

      Sian Lawson answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      A sport scientist is anyone that applies the principles of science to the study of sports.

      I do look at sports, but I also look more broadly at medical and biological problems. I’m a biomechanist – I apply mechanics to the study of living things. This can be sports related, addressing medical issues, or just learning how bones work. As well as the research my job consists of writing papers and applications for funding, supervising PhD students, and teaching undergraduates (first degree students).

    • Photo: Sally Barber

      Sally Barber answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      A sports scientist investigates different ways to improve sporting performance. Some inventing new equipment to help athletes get the most out of their training or competiition. Some design and test nutritional products that might imporve performance. Other sport scientists are psychologist so investigate the best ways for athletes to prepare mentally before competition. There are also some sports scientists who are called biomechanists, they apply the laws of mechanics and physics to improve sports performance. I’m sure there are other types of sports scientists that I have missed out too.

      I am an exercise scientist which is slightly different to a sport scientist. An exercise scientist investigates how exercise can improve health. I am an exercise physiologist so I look at how systems in body (like circulatory system) responds to exercise and how this can improve health. There are also exercise scientists who are psychologists, they investigate the best way to get people to stick to exercise programmes. There are also exercise biomechanists who use physics and mechanics to improve health.

    • Photo: Peter Styring

      Peter Styring answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      They try to improve how athletes or their equipment perform. All athletes want to be the best either by being baster or jumping higher or further than their opponents. Sports science and engineering helps them to do that. However, coaches also play an important role as do the athletes themselves. Science can only help people to improve, they must already have the talent and determination to want to be the best.

    • Photo: Sally Fenton

      Sally Fenton answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      A sport scienctist is some one sho does research into the human body and mind in relation to sport and exercise! There are many different types of sport scientists who do different types of things.

      Sport psychologists examine ways to help athletes improve their performance through using mental skills…and also how we can help more people enjoy and engage in exercise.

      Sports nutritionists assess diet and look at ways we can get optimal performance through different things we eat…or how our body uses up certain fuels for different types of exercise.

      Physiologists can look at how the body responds to exercise.

      These are just a few examples of sport scientists and only some of the things they do! Basically..sport scientists study the human body and how it responds to exercise…and how this can maybe be put into practice to help people perform better and be healthier!

      the areas I research are to do with physiology and health. I answer questions like.. how does our body respond to exercise in terms of fat burning and what are the energy demands of exercise?..and how can this help to benefit health.

    • Photo: Rebecca Randell

      Rebecca Randell answered on 17 Jun 2010:

      Sports scientists are people who research things that are involved in many different aspects of sport or exercise. In my department there are 5 research groups. I am part of the Exercise Metabolism research group. In my group we research things like:

      Exercise Nutrition: What foods improve performance and what can we eat to increase our metabolism.
      Disease and Exercise: What type of exercise improves our cardiovascular health and can reduce the onset of diabetes.

      Other parts of my department do studies looking at what kind of exercise can improve your immune system. Sports psychology is also apart of sports science. This is interesting research looking at what we can do to stay calm in stressful sporting situations and how you can stay motivated.

      Sports scientists also look at the best materials to make running shoes and sports equipment. The new ball used at the world cup was research that was done by sport scientists at Loughborough University in England.