Wednesday 20 May 2015
Introducing Adam Homer...
We spoke to Adam Homer, a student on the BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Science course at Southampton Solent University. Currently in his 3rd Year, Adam gives us insight into his course and his research.
How you are involved with High Performance Academy (HPA)?
Sport Science Support.
Why did you want to gain experience with our HPA?
Working with the HPA allowed me to work with high level athletes within a BASES accredited laboratory, which in the future should enhance my employability skills.
What support have you given our athletes this year?
Within the Sport Science Support, we have undertaken laboratory testing for athletes in such areas as, aerobic endurance through VO2 max testing, body fat percentages through using the bod pod and power outputs through the medex machines. This then allowed us to have data for the athletes which was then compared to normative data or their pre to post score for the test. We were also then able to give recommendations to the coaches within the HPA on how the athlete could develop.
How has this experience helped you develop your skills set? What skills have you developed?
Professionalism and communication skills. Professionalism through the way in which we had to conduct ourselves with athletes to show we knew what we were doing and the athlete then had a belief in us, and communication through conversing with a variety of different athletes, and also communication within the Sport Science Team along with the coaches within the HPA.
Explain to us what your average session with an athlete would entail:
I will describe an average VO2 max test for you and what would happen:
Firstly, the athlete would fill out a PAR-Q to ensure they were fit and healthy enough to take part in the testing. They would then have their stature and mass measured, an ECG would follow in which a trace of the heart would be conducted to ensure the heart beat was consistent and no heart problems would occur or put them at risk when going to a maximal test. On completion of the ECG a heart rate monitor will be put on the athlete and a resting blood lactate sample taken by pricking the finger and squeezing for blood. The athlete will then conduct the test on either a cycle ergometer or treadmill, (this would be decided on what we feel is more suitable dependent on their sport). Blood samples will be taken at frequent timings through the test and once the athlete cannot go any more the test will finish and a final blood lactate sample taken, all blood samples and VO2 data will be analysed and reported back to coaches with further recommendations.
How will this make you more employable?
Firstly, the fact that we have been working within a laboratory environment as some employers within certain roles will want experience of this and we get a lot of hand on contact with testing and with athletes. At a lot of other universities that run similar courses, the students do not get the chance to undertake testing like this, also the opportunity to work with elite athletes and to show my team work and communication skills with our six team sport science support group will hopefully make me more employable in the future.
Have you enjoyed your experience?
Yes, working in the lab and conducting a variety of tests weekly is very enjoyable, especially with such nice and high-end athletes who make it easy for us to do our job. The Head Physiotherapist, Benn and High Performance Academy Manager, James Grant help encouraging us by putting the onus upon us to get the correct procedures, test the athletes and the fact they entrust us with their athletes is great.
What is your sport, watched or played?
Football, I am an AFC Bournemouth lifelong supporter and currently also have a placement within the club which I am loving, I also play for a local team as well.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never wait for things to happen, make them happen for yourself through hard graft and not giving up.
For more information on our High Performance Academy (HPA), contact the team using Facebook.