Swansea University sports scientist reveals vital ‘window’ to enhance athletes’ performance

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A performance science expert from Swansea University has led research that has revealed there is a vital window on the day of a sporting competition when athletes’ performance can be acutely enhanced with a number of pre-competition strategies.

Professor Liam Kilduff will present the research in a keynote speech entitled ‘Competition Preparation: Vital Piece of the Performance Puzzle’ to over 500 delegates at this year’s UK Strength & Conditioning Conference (UKSCA), which takes place on 1-2 August.

Professor Kilduff has worked for 12 years in the area of performance science at Swansea University with a focus on elite athlete preparation strategies. His research has been embedded into the preparation strategies of some of the UK’s most successful teams competing at both the summer and winter Olympic games as well as teams competing in team sport world cups.

Professor Kilduff said: “Sport Scientists and Strength & Conditioning professionals spend the majority of the year trying to ensure that their athletes’ training and recovery strategies are appropriate for optimal performance on competition day.

“However, there is an additional ‘window’ leading up to an event on the day of competition where performance can be acutely enhanced with a number of pre-competition strategies.”

The strategies Professor Kilduff will discuss at the UKSCA conference include key techniques for enhancing muscle temperature; activating motor unit recruitment and stimulating anabolic hormones, three factors that are known to impact on an athlete’s ability to increase power.   

Professor Kilduff said: “My presentation at the UKSCA conference will focus on the underpinning mechanisms behind these strategies and how best practitioners may implement these strategies to ensure their athletes are in an optimal state to compete at their major events.”