Athletes and sports teams know it’s good to have maths and computer science in their corner.
We break down the what, who and how of sport science jobs. The bottom line? Having sport science on your side means more opportunities for employment, and a chance to work with your passion
What are sport science jobs?
Code-based skills are in high demand in the sports industry. “Mechanical, electronic, software and materials engineering are all very relevant to sports technology,” says Glen Charlton, a technical support engineer for Catapult Sports.
A sports-related CS career could involve searching through data to help coaches evaluate game strategies, identify talent and predict results. It might also include developing better sports simulators or more realistic ‘exergames’, which combine exercise with gaming for fitness and rehabilitation.
“Any given day, I can be thrown a new challenge, from building a prototype sensor system that captures an athlete’s muscle movements, to writing a machine learning algorithm that automates manual data analysis,” says Aaron Belbasis, a PhD researcher at RMIT University. He’s developing ‘Smart Apparel’ that monitors muscles and ligaments during exercise, looking for actions that lead to injury.
Aaron says CS is a varied career. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with elite athletes, secure design patents, pitch my technology to investors, travel the globe to learn and share knowledge – and, ultimately, tailor the impact of my career upon the world.”
GET INTO CS + SPORTS!
Check out some key sport science jobs and study options…
Sports trainer, sports coach, technical engineer, health data analyst, exercise physiologist, sports scientist, biomechanical researcher, mobile app developer, physical therapist + more!
Exercise and Sport Science (Hons), University of Newcastle
Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science), RMIT University
Engineering Science (Sports Engineering), Victoria University
Sport Science (Human Movement), Victoria University
Science (Applied Statistics), Swinburne University
Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science), University of Sydney
CS in action
CS + motorsports
Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo has a team of computer scientists who plot his every move and use algorithms to optimise his race strategy. Nowadays, computer science plays a major part in ensuring success in most sports.
CS + rugby
The Wallabies’ 2015 Rugby World Cup jersey, for example, was developed by the ASICS Institute of Sport Science in collaboration with the players. It’s lighter, stronger, harder to grab and better fitted than any previously worn – improvements that couldn’t have been made without CS in play.
CS + athletics
Olympic 100 m hurdles champion Sally Pearson teamed up with podiatrist and coach Ashley Mahoney to stay injury-free and improve her personal best. Combining cutting-edge software with super slow motion cameras, Ashley can measure things like step lengths, velocities, flight time over hurdles and forces out of the starting blocks.
“With this information we can make precise judgments and determine if any program changes need to be made,” he says.
– Ben Skuse