The science of sport lives in a place that most of us will never know. Having spent a good part of my career working with professional athletes and now spending time consulting with our MLS team, MN United, I see the performance side of sport and science in a new way. It plays out in a spreadsheet of data that ranges from sleep quality to a state of readiness. Electrodes, gyroscopes, heart rate monitors, finger pricks for blood testing, and everything else are part of the daily life of any professional athlete, all in an effort to improve performance, optimize hormones, prevent injury, and find the perfect state of readiness. Us mortals, who aren’t playing pro sports, don’t have access to the same technology. What we do have, however, is the information and the freedom to tinker.
There are so many studies out there that show different methods of experimentation to increase performance and recovery. Some ways are effective and some have been proven to be ineffective. You would be surprised to learn that what we might have thought worked to help us get faster and stronger is actually slowing us down. And what we thought was detrimental to performance is actually something that can be useful to increase performance. Did you know that stretching before training shows us that we decrease power output and see a decrease in performance? What would you say if I told you that using ice to help injuries heal faster has zero scientific proof?