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How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete Paperback – 25 Feb 2016
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About the Author
Dr Steve Ingham is one of world’s leading applied sport scientists. A physiologist by trade he has track record of providing scientific support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have gone on to achieve World or Olympic medal success. Ingham has coached athletics to World and Olympic levels. Ingham was the Sports Science Manager at the British Olympic Association and the Head of Physiology for the English Institute of Sport, where he is currently the Director of Science and Technical Development. Ingham holds a BSc from the University of Brighton and a PhD from the University of Surrey and is a fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
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Steve Ingham is one of most respected sport scientists in the UK, and this book provides invaluable an insight into providing support to elite athletes in high performance environments. The book details several examples of how influential a sport scientist can be to elite sport, given there is passion, drive, empathy, and patiene when working with others. However, more importantly, the book highlights the importance of the "soft skills" required to be trusted by both the coach and athlete. These skills aren't taught in University lectures, and it is these skills which every aspiring sport scientist must acquire in order to truly impact sports performance. Steve is very humble, describing how he performed several roles in his early years (nutitional support, strength and conditioning, physiologist, to name a few), working endless hours with minimal resources, and having to provide feedback to coaches and athletes to impact training/recovery as soon as possible. This provides the example that those who are now well-established sport scientists, were in fact experiencing the same problems the current crop of graduates are currently. Any graduate who feels they deserve a job upon graduating should really reconsider that viewpoint after reading this book.
I would recommend this book for those who are studying any discipline of sport science at the undergraduate or postgraduate level wishing to pursue a career in profressional/high-performance sport.
There seems to be a real push for "bridging the gap" between sport science and coaches/athletes in this day and age. This book provides real-life examples of working in sport at the highest level, not only on the life as a sport scientist, but how to use the knowledge attained during University/additional courses/CPD and transfer that in an effective manner to contribute to an end goal.
I work as a talent ID scout in Football so I found it fascinating to read Steve's experience of working with athletes at the top of their sport.
The classic opening line from Redgrave, cutting straight to the point of only being interested in getting better, faster and stronger shows how harsh and demanding it is for sports scientists.
If you can't bring results you will be gone.
Steve talks alot about sticking to your beliefs and having trust in your ideas, whether it turns out to work or not. There is no point sitting on the fence or just following others.
The change he brings to Jess Ennis-Hill's training to raise her lactate threshold is proof of this. It would of been easy for Steve to talk himself out of it but he didnt and it worked.
Brilliant book that I couldnt put down. Good books always motivate me in my own training too, so cheers Steve!
As a sport scientist/strength and conditioning coach I am familiar with the role of support staff for athletes and this book was the perfect capture of the relationships with athletes and coaches within elite performance support teams and their strive to push the limits of human performance. The principles within the book resonated with me very strongly as I too know the troubles and barriers to enhancing one's own effectiveness as a practitioner within the field of sports science however Steve has the experience of working with some of the greatest athletes Great Britain has produced within the last few decades.
I have and will continue to recommend the book to colleagues in the future and have found the book to be a fantastic addition to my personal library. Great Work Steve
Steve is also a personable fellow and I have had numerous communications with him. Bargain price for a great book.