Friday with the Docs: Dr. Yessis on the word “Science” in Sport

Why is science a bad word in the sports world?

Close examination of the training that takes place on the high school, collegiate and professional levels, shows that there are few, if any, training programs that fully utilize scientifically proven methods of improving performance. Is it because we do not believe that science can contribute to making a better athlete, or is it because coaches are afraid of science?

If we compare this to just about any industry we would find that there aren’t any companies that are successful – or even that could be successful – without the application of science or scientifically proven practices.  But yet we can find no such examples in sport.

If sports were a pure amateur matter and athletes only participated for fun and enjoyment this would be understandable.  But when we take a look at what is going on in sports today, it becomes obvious that sports are a big business.  Teams and players continue to get richer despite all the troubles that some teams experience.

Even when owners come from a background of having science in their companies they often look upon sports as an enjoyable pastime.  Some appear to have big egos and like to have their pictures next to a high-level athletes hoping that some of their fame and glory will rub off on them.

Owners who are serious about improving their teams seem to be oblivious to the fact that science can play a major role in the team’s welfare.  If they aren’t, they wouldn’t continually keep spending more and more money to get better, or what appear to be better, athletes.  Note that very few athletes after receiving humongous contracts, ever get better.  In other words, they pay them for past performances hoping that they will be repeated in the future.

The owners do not appear to be concerned about the costs involved since they merely pass on the difference to the fans.  This is why we see ticket prices, and the “privilege” to buy tickets costing more every year.  Even the cost of a”good” seat for a spring practice game in baseball is increasing ($90 or more in some of the new stadiums).

But if fans are happy looking at mediocre performances, under the illusion that they are seeing the world’s best, and don’t care that soon only the rich will be able to attend the games, then we should let things continue as they are.  We should not read articles about how poorly a team is doing and how some owners may be too cheap to buy expensive players or are treating players who make multiple millions a year are not being treated fairly.

With the application of science player performance can be enhanced greatly.  The knowledge and know-how is already available.  It only requires acceptance and implementation.  Until then we will continue to be bombarded with BS articles to explain poor performances by the athletes and teams.

For more information on this topic is recommended that you read, Sports: Is It All BS? and Build a Better AthleteSports: Is It All BS? reveals the present status of sports in the United States and the many myths that guide the various sports.  Build a Better Athlete explains the present scene and goes into detail on how you can apply science to make a better athlete.  It is written in simple easy to understand language even though the information may be technical and complex.

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