Scotland Strength & Conditioning Study Abroad
During the summer of 2016, I was accepted into the Scotland Strength & Conditioning Study Abroad program through the University of Georgia. Spending three weeks in Glasgow, Scotland, I had the opportunity to work with Team Scotland's para-olympic, track cycling, swimming, and field hockey strength & conditioning coaches, physiotherapists and athletes. During this time, I spent most hours working with the Kilmarnock Futbol club, in which I assisted in taking pre-season body composition measures via the BodPOD. In addition, VO2max was measured for each athlete with use of a treadmill at a set speed while increasing the grade every minute. Leg power was tested via vertical jump. While working with the team, I had the opportunity to sit in on a pre-season practice at their official home field as well as a pre-season strength and conditioning session.
Scotland's athletic programs have a huge emphasis on injury prevention, thus, functional movement screening (FMS) is a popular technique in which the physiotherapist performs on all athletes pre-, in-, and post-season. Although I did not assist with FMS, the physiotherapist held a private session to teach those studying abroad how FMS measures are taken.
Daily meetings focused on an array of topics, in which I had the opportunity to sit in on Sport Scotland's Institute of Sport seminar with the strength & conditioning coaches whose athlete's were attending the 2016 Rio Olympics. During this seminar, discussion focused on acclimatization and modifications to training regimens in preparing the athletes for the heat.
Additional seminars included topics such as use of GPS tracking devices specifically designed for the athlete. Measures by the GPS device provide coaches and athlete staff with athlete efficiency and effectiveness of training (e.g. overtraining, under-training, use of the field, calories) and methods in sport specific training and program design. Other seminars included talks with the head strength & conditioning coach for the Glasgow Warriors and Sport Scotland's Institute of Sport Sports Dietitian.
Photos taken and provided by photographer Kevin McMurtrie
Kilmarnock Futbol Club
The above photos were taken during Kilmarnock Futbol Club's pre-season practice in July 2016. During the strength training session, all athletes were divided into groups and baseline measures of proper form, strengths and weaknesses were assessed for. During the strength session, FMS and strength training objectives were combined into single exercises to determine baseline neuromotor and strength measures.