I have drawn up the list, redrawn it, kept the list by my bedside (sad isn't it?) and mulled it over and over. So from next week I will start a weekly run down of the top 10 applications of sports physiology.
Let me get my disclaimers in before I start;
1) I will focus on recent developments, let's go with ... since the turn of the millenium.
2) I will also stick to those areas that have been applied, tried and tested in athletic practice. So there won't be any big reveals here, these ideas are out there in the literature. But what I will do is highlight those areas that have blossomed or are blossoming. The bloom might have come about because of a key research paper in the area; it might also be an advance in technology that has unlocked the analysis, maybe made it field based, non-invasive or inexpensive. Whatever the supporting technology or understanding, if a topic has come to life in the last 12 years then it has a chance of making it on the list.
3) The most important criteria for it's inclusion is, of course, the positive effect upon performance.
4) These are my opinions, not an official chart (pop-pickers)
Once again, let me remind you , there are no secrets here, this stuff is all out there in the literature. It is the coaches and athletes who protectively question the value of science ideas that scientists must convince, cajole, persuade and demonstrate to. That is where the hard work lies. No success will come from reading a paper and dropping "Bloggs et al" into conversation by the track. It is the interplay of interpersonal introspection, self-effacing timing and team-focussed altruism that allows these topics to make an impact. The devil is in the application.
So with one for each week of the countdown to the Games, what would make your top 10? It could make a late entry into the charts…