Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Problem? I don't see a problem...

I was just reading this, and came upon this section:

"At the risk of dismissing its value, the coaches probably gained enormous value from other coaches' presentations - Bob Bowman (Michael Phelps' coach) would have heard some valuable tips from Terrence Mahon (Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor, among others), and vice versa, but I dare say that the science would not have changed the way any of the coaches are approaching altitude training for their athletes. They already had a strategy, and I doubt whether the science showed them anything to improve or change it.

And this is a typical problem (...)"

Is it? I don't see a problem with success. Here are some of the most successful coaches in the World explaining some of the methods that got them this success, and for (some) sports scientists, it is a problem if it goes against the science, which when it comes to endurance training still has huge gaps.

The problem I see is scientists that instead of looking for the scientific basis for success that I am sure is behind the success of those coaches, prefer to throw rocks from their precariously founded ivory towers.

The author goes on to expand on how he sees coaching as "the ability of the coach to engage in a scientific process", which is something I strongly disagree, and it shows the traditional lack of understanding that (some) sports scientists have of the coaching process.

3 comments:

Marcos Apene do Amaral-TriPhiloSophia said...

It is not a problem! Science plays it's role after the athlete's success! That's all! Just explaining, in some terms, the achievemts reached and not making any other role than the one's made by the coaches more like an "artist" prescription and the athlete "blind and arduous" execution! Love your "simple" and "summarized" thoughts, cheers, Marcos!

Barrett Brandon said...

bang on Paulo.....as usual. Science of Sport is is a great blog, but didnt really agree with the post so much. In reality, what do you expect??? You think a guy(s) who spent a bizillion years in a lab getting his Phd is gonna like it when coaches talk about "feel" and "listening to your body" instead of depressed Svo2 levels at an altitude conference??? Cheers.

JB said...

I once saw Dave Costill give a talk and he said something to the effect of, 'the problem with us exercise physiologists is that we sometimes don't consider the anatomy above the neck' when he was discussing some long-distance guys' (Salazar? etc.) training methods.