Over 40 sports science practitioners from more than 20 elite clubs gathered at Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s Amex Stadium on Monday for the latest in Catapult’s series of UK Meet Ups.
An opportunity for sports science professionals to discuss research, best practice and performance culture in an informal setting, our Meet Ups are designed to give practitioners a space to network and share knowledge from each others’ experiences.
The Brighton Meet Up featured presentations from four leading practitioners: Tom Barnden (Lead First Team S&C Coach, Brighton & Hove Albion FC), Alastair Harris (Head of Sports Science, Fulham FC), John Hill (Former Head of Sports Science, Hearts & MK Dons), and Matt Green (Elite Performance Manager, Premier League).
For the opening presentation, Tom Barnden spoke about Brighton & Hove Albion’s journey to the Premier League and the importance of failure in helping organisations and individuals to learn and progress. Highlighting the ways in which Brighton have integrated a high performance culture, Tom’s presentation provided a fascinating insight into the importance of core principles to sustained success.
Tom was followed by Alastair Harris, who gave an insight into some of the ways Fulham approach athlete monitoring. Presenting elements of the research he is conducting as part of his PhD, Alastair also stressed the importance of unearthing and focusing on data that can be shown to make a markedly positive difference when applied to the training process.
The third presentation was given by John Hill, who spoke about the types of questions sports scientists should be asking in order to make the maximum impact on performance. Informing his talk with several real-world examples, John encouraged attendees to discuss the fundamentals of sports science as he analysed how peak periods of intensity in matches can affect performance and influence training approaches.
Matt Green delivered the final presentation and focused on the research he has conducted into how practitioners can better inform coaches with data and ensure that their work has a constructive impact on the design of training sessions. Talking about his own experiences supporting the training methods of different coaches, Matt asked whether many sports scientists are really measuring what they should be measuring, or just what they can.
Thanks to all of the speakers for their willingness to share their insights, and to all those who attended for contributing to another excellent Catapult Meet Up.