We chat with Club Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim Knight about his experiences at the recent International Science and Soccer Conference.
Students never cease to study.
So, it is perhaps no surprise then that with the squad on leave throughout June, Central Coast Mariners Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim Knight could be found sharpening his knowledge amongst some of the world-s top sporting minds.
Over the past week, Knight has been in the United States at the 4th International Science and Soccer Conference, attending lectures and conversing with professionals from every corner of the globe.
Before Knight jetted back to Australia from America, we took five with him to discover what he learnt during the conference held in Portland, Oregon.
CCMFC: Tim, you-ve been in the States attending a conference this week. What was it? TK: The conference was the 4th International Science and Soccer Conference. They are held every two years in different countries each time. The last one was in Gent, Belgium. This one was obviously in Portland, Oregon, USA.
CCMFC: Who was there and who presented? TK: There was quite a mix of attendees and speakers at the conference. There were sport scientists from professional, amateur and college teams from all around the world, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Seattle Sounders and Ajax Amsterdam, to name a few. There were athletic trainers, the American term for physiotherapists, coaches, and even students still studying. A few of the presenters that stood out were Jens Bangsbo, a former assistant coach and sport scientist at Juventus, Christopher Carling, sports scientist for LOSC Lille, Aaron Coutts, professor of sport and exercise at UTS, Sydney, and Shona Halson, head of recovery at the Australian Institute of Sport.
CCMFC: What did you learn? TK: There were a lot of presentations and unfortunately some ran concurrently so I had to choose which best suited me and indeed our Club. Of the ones I watched I received some great information on nutrition, recovery, injury prevention, and training loads that can be implemented with both the first team and the Foxtel National Youth League squad.
CCMFC: Are you always eager to learn new things and build on your practical experience with theory? TK: Of course! Sport science is ever evolving as more and more research is performed. Underlying everything we do at the Mariners is research showing that the techniques we use work. Obviously they are tweaks and twisted to suit our current squad and individual players but the foundation of all physical training is built on research.
CCMFC: Will you be looking to attend more of these types of conferences? TK: Definitely. Like I mentioned previously, sport science is ever evolving in tandem with new research. These conference provide a great platform for all sport scientists and academics to showcase the latest research and share knowledge amongst their peers.
CCMFC: Would you encourage other people to head along? TK: Strongly! It-s not all about knowing everything that is happening. It-s about taking what you and your team needs and implementing it in a way that benefits your squad.
CCMFC: You got the chance to visit Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers. Impressive? TK: The conference was held at the University of Portland but there was a social meeting and a chance to make contacts held at Providence Park. The facilities there are great and the stadium looked as if it would facilitate a great atmosphere. There was one downfall though - the synthetic pitch.
CCMFC: When the conference was complete you got the chance to venture to an MLS game. How did you find that? TK: I managed to get tickets to LA Galaxy versus Chivas at Star Hub Arena. Like Providence Park the stadium was great and the pitch, this time grass, was in top shape. In terms of fans I think the Hyundai A-League has the MLS covered. There were still fans taking there time entering the stadium up to 25 minutes after kick-off and the atmosphere didn-t quite have the passion we see here in the Hyundai A-League.
CCMFC: Thanks for your time, TK. TK: My pleasure!
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