Performing a skin fold test on a client
Sports scientists assist sportspeople to achieve the best possible sporting performance by applying knowledge and techniques from the areas of biomedical science, physiology, biomechanics (the study of human movement), nutrition, psychology and sport assessment.
Duties and Tasks
Sports scientists may perform the following tasks:
- conduct assessments specific to an athlete's sport to determine how to improve sporting performance
- devise treatment and exercise programs that support athletes' preparation and recovery, and help them return to training or competition
- conduct research, make observations and interpret data in relation to sporting performances, and communicate findings to officials, athletes, coaches and other support staff
- design or assist in developing training programs for sportspeople to improve sporting performance and reduce the risk of injury
- refer clients to sports medicine physicians and other health professionals such as physiotherapists, dietitians, sports psychologists and podiatrists
- work as part of the athlete's support team to develop the athletes performance.
A sports biomechanist conducts computerised analyses of an athlete's sporting technique. This is done using high-speed video, force transducers and other mechanical devices to determine the athletes mechanical efficiency. Working in conjunction with the coach, they also devise methods to improve the athlete's technical efficiency.
A sports physiologist provides scientific support to sportspeople by studying how their bodies respond to physical activity. This can be done using various methods such as studying responses to exercise and training, analysing heart-rate data and blood samples or measuring changes in a sportsperson's strength and flexibility.
A motor control and learning specialist uses their knowledge of motor control and learning to analyse an athlete's perceptual and decision-making abilities during sporting events and devises strategies to improve learning and performance.
School subjects that include some aspect of BIOLOGY provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a biology-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspects of CHEMISTRY provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a chemistry-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of physical education provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a physical education subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
Workers performing these jobs would usually be expected to spend more than three-quarters of their day indoors, in an office, factory or other enclosed area protected from the weather.
These jobs require moderate or better reading and writing skills. Workers may be expected to prepare, understand or act on written materials, such as letters or reports. People may wish to avoid these jobs if their reading or writing English skills are limited to a small range of words or phrases and symbols. Jobs remaining may still require very basic reading or writing skills.
Included are jobs providing health care diagnosis and treatment, such as general medicine, pharmacy, optometry, radiography, speech therapy, dental health, etc. Also covered are community and welfare services, such as social work, family and children services, and counselling, and personal services such as hairdressing and funeral services.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH IDEAS to investigate or seek solutions to scientific, technical, social or other issues. Activities include observing, researching, analysing and interpreting results. The ability to develop theories, apply logic and explore abstract ideas in a specialist area of knowledge is important.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH PEOPLE, to help, inform, teach or treat them. Activities include discussing personal issues, listening to people's problems, and providing advice, instruction, information or treatment to meet their needs.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH THINGS in the natural world, such as conservation, handling animals, raising crops or livestock, or sport. Activities include growing and caring for living things, or an involvement with sport, leisure or the environment.
Jobs in this group usually require completion of a recognised Bachelor Degree, or extensive relevant experience. Some jobs also require post-graduate study, such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master Degree.
Sports scientists often attend training sessions and sporting events to monitor sporting performances in addition to working in an office or testing laboratory. They have a high level of contact with the public.
- interested in sport and fitness
- interested in physical and biomedical sciences
- good observation and problem-solving skills
- able to work with accuracy and attention to detail.
Testing a client's lung capacity
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