The ETSU Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education supports a focus on research, education, and service intended to provide a distinctive national model and leadership in sport performance and coach education.
Building on ETSU’s role as the flagship campus in the Tennessee Board of Regents system with regard to health affairs, the interface with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and partnerships between the Colleges of Education, Medicine, Public Health, Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Business and Technology will result in a world-class program that addresses issues of sport performance and applies that research to better educate coaches, thereby improving athlete performance and preventing injury.
The interdisciplinary work of the Center will not only benefit the collegiate and elite athlete, it will also bridge the gap between academics and athletics in a way that will support the notion of coaches as scientists. The work of the Center will permeate the sport community from the elite athlete to the grade school child who participates in school or recreational sports through systematic training and education programs for coaches at all levels.
Research: The Center’s research mission has two major foci: basic research and applied sponsored research in sport science and related fields such as medicine, physical therapy, and nutrition. Interdisciplinary projects will address a variety of issues to better understand sport performance and to translate this knowledge into appropriate education for coaches. The three primary areas of research include:
- translation of basic research to training protocols in order to improve performance and decrease injury at all levels of participation,
- performance interventions that are not part of the normal training regimen such as studies of the impact of nutrition, overall wellness, and rest on sport performance, and
- work that is related to improving the performance of athletes of all ages and those with medical conditions and physical disabilities.
Education: The overall educational goal of the Center is to provide opportunities to varied audiences of sport scientists, coaches, athletes, and athletic medicine and health professionals to share and learn about cutting edge advances in sport science. These advocacy and support opportunities will include:
- Symposia that bring together international expertise to expand the scope and practice of research so as to define areas of continued study and improve research in sport science with the goal of expanding the body of knowledge in sport science and athlete performance.
- Conferences and meetings that focus on specific contemporary issues in sport science, sport performance, and coach education by bringing together accomplished researchers and practitioners to share their work from the laboratory and the field.
- Workshops and “Coaches Colleges” of varying lengths that translate the Center’s research and that of other leading scholars to applications that have specific impact on sport performance and the prevention of injury. These will include programs designed for specific audiences: coaches, health care professionals, rehabilitative therapists, and those who work with athletes with special needs.
- A Ph.D. program in Sport Physiology and Sport Performance is currently being developed with hope to launch the program in the near future. The Ph.D. program will be supported with seminars provided concurrently with the Center’s symposia, conferences, and workshops. Students in the doctoral program will benefit from the extraordinary expertise of the presenters brought to the Center’s educational programs.
- Provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research.
Service: The Center’s service commitment is also focused on improving the performance of athletes at all levels of competition. This commitment is manifested in
- the development of a high quality athlete monitoring system and the dissemination of that work
- consultations with intercollegiate athletic departments and elite and Olympic sport associations
- replication of the ETSU partnership with intercollegiate athletics to other sports organizations – laterally to other college and university intercollegiate athletic departments and vertically to both elite and Olympic sport associations and to programs for the school age athlete (both school and non-school sponsored)
- potential partnership with the United States Olympic Committee to work with national sport governing bodies and community sport groups to enhance high quality sports programs for talented youth, and assisting in the development of the complete training process for advanced and elite athletes
- conducting sport-specific camps for coaches and athletes
- Working to improve the health and safety of athletes at all levels through systematic coach education.