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SportingTheory is run by myself, Jack Martin.
Over the last three years, I have worked in a variety of different sporting environments. Since the first year of my undergraduate degree, I have worked in sports governance with Winchester Warrior's junior cricket association. An organisation aimed at increasing inclusivity and participation in grassroots youth cricket. My role as a committee member has allowed me to understand the importance of applying the latest coaching research to different game structures to maximise participation and overall player engagement. I found this role to be very rewarding as I was able to understand the impact of different coaching philosophies on play, inclusivity and engagement.
During the second year of my undergraduate degree, I was part of the England rugby coach mentorship program, which allowed me to develop my coaching philosophy and practice. This experience allowed me to explore ways of implementing the latest leadership and sports coaching research into my own coaching sessions. Over the one and half years I was on the mentorship program, I helped to develop a youth girls rugby team at a local school in Winchester whilst also being the assistant head coach for the university's men's BUCS team. Having coaching experience at both the performance end and the physical activity end of the spectrum gave me an understanding of how the same element of coaching research can be applied to two very different groups and result in two different outcomes. Subsequently, I understood the importance of an athlete-focused coaching philosophy.
During the final year of my undergraduate degree, I published my first peer-reviewed journal article titled "Post-Exercise Hot-Water Immersion Promotes Heat-Acclimation Responses in Endurance Athletes and Recreational Athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis" in the journal "Reinvention an international journal of undergraduate research."
In 2021 I have presented my research at several different research conferences, including the British conference of undergraduate research and the University of Winchester research conference. I was also awarded the Winchester Scholar award for my significant contribution to research as an undergraduate student.
Why was sportingtheory created?
SportingTheory was created with the aim of closing the gap between published research and applied practice. Several previous research studies have shown that sports coaches often struggle to engage with peer-reviewed journals because of the complex language and how information is presented. Many coaches even believe that sports science research is not of importance to them. However, when understood correctly, the latest sports science research can revolutionise coaching practice. In previous coaching surveys, coaches have highlighted that the biggest barrier to using research is that they don't have the time to look for specific papers or journals relating to a particular element of sports science.
SportingTheory was created with the aim of closing the gap between published research and applied practice. Having studied sports coaching at undergraduate level, I was constantly told that there is a gap between sports science research and how athletes and coaches use research. Over the three years of my undergraduate degree, I experienced the disconnect between researchers and applied practitioners, which gave me a valuable insight into solutions to this problem.