#bitesize – Applying Sports Science and Evidence-Based Research in Practice

Applying Sports Science and Evidence-Based Research

The Importance of the Scientific Method

In sports science, the scientific method is crucial for developing effective training programs. Applying sports science involves starting with a research question, forming a hypothesis, conducting experiments, analyzing data, and reporting findings. This method ensures that any new process or research applied within a program is evidence-based and reliable, thereby applying sports science principles rigorously and effectively.

Insights from Submaximal Testing

Recent research on submaximal testing, such as the submaximal yo-yo test, provides valuable insights. This test, conducted over several years, revealed that players with higher training loads tend to perform better. This finding can help practitioners tailor training programs to enhance player performance.

Key Performance Metrics for Coaches

Key performance metrics like average acceleration per second and meters per minute are vital. These metrics not only offer a detailed analysis of player performance but are also easy for coaches and players to understand. By focusing on these metrics, teams can have productive discussions about performance and improvement.

Balancing Volume and Intensity in Training

Balancing volume and intensity in training is essential for replicating match conditions. While it’s relatively easy to achieve the desired volume using GPS units, maintaining the right intensity is more challenging. Ensuring that training sessions match the intensity of actual games is key to preparing athletes effectively.

Maximizing Impact as a Sports Scientist

Sports scientists can make a significant impact by setting objective training standards. Before the first preseason session, establishing clear goals and criteria helps in achieving optimal performance. This gradual, relationship-building approach ensures that new practices are well-received and effective.


Applying sports science and evidence-based research in practice is vital for optimizing athlete performance. By following the scientific method, utilizing key metrics, balancing training intensity, and setting clear standards, sports scientists can drive meaningful improvements.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Essential factors when integrating new research into your practice
  • Effective research studies applicable for coaches
  • Key metrics to use in small-sided games
  • Vital principles for peak physical performance in AFL athletes
  • Areas for sports scientists to maximize impact in professional sports clubs

Guest: Billy Hulin, Applied Performance Scientist at Collingwood Football Club

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