The story of Science for Sport begun in 2014 when I (Owen) was working as the Head of Academy Sports Science for Cardiff City Football Club. Just one week into the job, I was hit with a problem coaches’ have to deal with virtually every day: knowing the answer to a tough (and expensive) question.
My manager asked me if we should spend £50k ($80k USD) on GPS units for the academy. The pressure mounted when he told me he had to make a decision fast due to limited stock. Honestly, I didn’t know the answer. I wasn’t sure if they were valid and reliable enough to warrant spending almost our entire budget on, and the GPS I’d previously used, seemed to bring more problems than solutions.
So, I did the only thing I could: I promised I would do intense research and return with a fact-based answer the very next morning. That promise wasn’t easy to fulfil! I searched everywhere I could to find a concise summary of GPS technology to make sense of it all – accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, GPS modules, algorithms, etc. I found 5 individual studies. But they each looked at different brands, models, and algorithms, and none of them even discussed gyroscopes or magnetometers. I was stressed to the teeth and my hours of painstaking research only turned up contradictions between those 5 jargon-crammed studies.
So, I went back to my manager and told him the truth: “I couldn’t find much high-quality information and so I don’t think we should buy them.”
This experience led to an epiphany…
Coaches need a trustworthy and easy-to-understand resource that cuts through the jargon, biases, and contradictions in sports science and only delivers the essential information you need to make smart decisions and evolve your coaching. A resource I wish I had when my manager first asked me that question about GPS units.
That’s when I decided to create Science for Sport. I didn’t want to be an uninformed coach when I’m supposed to be the one with all the answers.
So, I set out to achieve one important thing; to deliver…