Tony Strudwick: Why sport science has lost its way

Strudwick was at Manchester United for 11 years

Strudwick was at Manchester United for 11 years

TONY STRUDWICK says sport science has “lost its way” because an obsession with injury prevention is “killing” the pursuit of performance.

The Wales Head of Performance - who worked at Manchester United for 11 years and is one of the most respected figures in the industry - was speaking at TGG’s Cohesive Coaching event.

He said: “I think sport science has lost its way a little bit. GPS monitoring and analysis has become synonymous with sport science. It’s not, it’s one component.

“Sport science doesn’t have to to sit here and the art of coaching sits there. It’s not a continuum, it needs to be integrated, hence Cohesive Coaching.

“One of the biggest issues of our current generation is that sport science, physiotherapy, the medical component, is putting limitations on performance.

"Our job is to create newer athletes - the football athlete of the future, who is robust, resilient and can cope with increases in load.

"The whole idea of the physical component will be to increase the bandwidth capability of our athletes, mentally and physically, exposing them to different stresses.”

Strudwick, who took on the Wales job at the end of last season, later tweeted: “Just looking at some proposed training plans I’ve been sent for athletes. What went wrong with basic physical training?

“Been sidelined with language like prevention, recovery and tempo. What is that? No training? This red flag culture perpetuated by practitioners obsessed with injury prevention is killing our pursuit of human performance.

“Sure, we have a responsibility to ensure safe practice, but elite athletes are capable of so much more. Seriously, are we living in a world where we put limitations on physical performance?”

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