The disconnect between sports science and the reality of elite performance, plus the state of digital health and the benefits of foam rolling.


Monday, July 10

Foam Rolling: Effect On Performance And Potential Mechanisms

Demonstrated Effects:

  1. Reduced pain from delayed onset muscle soreness
  2. Acute increase in range of motion
  3. Reduced muscle tender spots
  4. Trivial to substantial effect on subsequent performance in contrast to static stretching



Foam rolling substantially improved quadriceps muscle tenderness by a moderate to large amount in the days after fatigue. Substantial effects ranged from small to large in sprint time, power, and dynamic strength-endurance.


Wednesday, July 12

5 Takeaways from Stanford Medicine’s report on the present and future of digital health

  1. Wearables will be provided by medical centers: “The promise of wearables is in the ability to detect and therefore treat illness at an earlier stage.”
  2. Big data and research: Kaiser Permanente’s HealthConnect, a program that unifies health records across the health system, has amassed $1 billion in cost reductions since implementation in 2013.
  3. Predictive analytics: Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign is developing predictive devices including a monitoring device that predicts pediatric asthma attacks days before they occur, a test for the genetic causes of heart disease, and a rapid non-invasive test for potential heart-transplant rejection.
  4. Virtual health: Telehealth is viewed as an especially useful tool for medical consults with specialists that many communities may lack, improving access to behavioral health professionals and getting follow-up care following hospitalization. This can remove barriers to access for patients that can’t take time off work or get transportation to medical facilities.
  5. Greater roles of case managers for preventative care: Embedded nurse case managers in physician offices has led to 45% fewer hospital admissions, and cost reductions spanning 16.5-33% for members in the Aetna program.


Thursday, July 13

I went from sedentary academic to 100-mile marathon runner–thanks to the science of self-control

Three factors to consider when training your self-control:

Strengthening self-control in one area of your life can improve other components of life:


Friday, July 14

Houston, we still have a problem

The academic culture and its publishing requirements have created an environment where sports scientists remain mostly disconnected from the reality of elite performance.

Examples of the disconnect between current practices and scientific evidence:

Research questions don’t apply to real-life application. Often, instead of a “what is best”-type of answer, practitioners need a “what is the least worst option in our context”-type of answer.

To bridge the gap, researchers and elite performance practitioners should collaborate on case studies.  For larger-scale projects, clubs must strengthen their links with universities so that their data can be analyzed appropriately, and full papers can be written by academics with the time, experience and club level understanding. Similarly, experiments that can’t be conducted at the club level can be continued and refined in the laboratory environment.