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A precarious relationship: sport science and coaching

Carpenter, T. L. and Day, Dave (2010) A precarious relationship: sport science and coaching. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The need to improve British Sport in terms of success, efficiency and organisation can be traced back to the British failures at the Stockholm Games in 1912. Despite gradually diminishing international performances British policy makers did little to try to resolve the problem and the poor performances continued, something which the British public had now become accustomed to. However, the poor result at the 1952 Helsinki Games may have acted as a catalyst to improve the success of the British teams on the international stage because in 1960 The Wolfenden Report suggested that improvement was potentially linked to a relaxation in amateur rules and the introduction of scientific methods of training. Perhaps this provided the impetus needed because in 1965 the British Olympic Association expressed a desire to improve performance from means other than those of standard training. This marked a pivotal moment in British sport as it heralded a move away from the traditional amateur ethos which has gradually become marginalised as the guiding principle in British sport. This paper traces the development of Sports Science in Britain since the 1960 paying particular attention to events which led to the institutionalisation of Sports Science. Reference will also be paid the tentative acceptance of Sports Science by some and potential reasoning for this and the continuing resistance among some parts of the coaching community to the implementation of positivistic experimental science.

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