Lessons from London 2012 and their application to Rio 2016

As a self-employed sports consultant, I was overwhelmed when three of the athletes I work with were selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Working in a minority sport, I knew there would not be scope for me to attend to every step of the way; but like all good sports consultants, I was committed to doing the best I could to ensure these athletes performed at their peak when required. This paper follows my journey as performance coach with one Olympic athlete and the National coach, reviewing practice along the way through interviews, conferences, research, journal entries and the social media. It has led me to what some will see as a surprising conclusion; namely, that most sports science is not used in a functional way. Although my analysis is qualitative, I hope this account of what I did or observed will help us to rethink strategies going forward to Rio 2016.

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