Monday, 31 December 2007

Recovery and regeneration: what is happening in elite sport?

In the last few years I have observed a steep increase in interest versus recovery and regeneration strategies.

Athletes train and compete a lot these days and everyone feels the need to provide recovery and regeneration strategies to speed-up return to optimal functions.

I have to say that the quality and the science behind most of the recovery modalities is quite questionable and most of the times, the appropriateness of such modalities, could really be a matter of serious debates.

It is not the aim of this article to discuss recovery and regeneration, I promise I will write a more detailed article on this topic in the next few weeks.

In this article I would like to write about the fact that many elite training centres and Olympic associations are investing a lot of money into recovery and regeneration centres aimed at helping athletes.

In september 2006, the USOC opened a New Athlete recovery centre investing a lot of money in conventional and non-conventional recovery modalities/devices (http://usocpressbox.org/usoc/pressbox.nsf/6272c9a938d3a5cb8525711000564abd/aad006ac4a40193e852571ea0068b36d?OpenDocument).

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) recently spent 3.5 AUD millions to create the new Recovery Centre (http://www.ausport.gov.au/journals/ausport/Vol3no2/32new_ais.pdf) to provide this service to Australian Athletes.

The Japanese Olympic Association is also building a new site where recovery services will also be provided.

Many leading countries are investing in this area, however research in the most common recovery modalities is scarce or of poor quality. I expect an increase in the number of research studies in this area and I can already anticipate that many modalities currently used by famous athletes/teams will be shown not to be as effective as advertised!

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