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Title: The evolution of the concept of sleep and movement behaviour to the UK high performance sport industry
Author: Gilchrist, Sarah L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 5557
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2018
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The UK high performance industry has evolved and expanded over the last 20 years. Parallel to this has been an upsurge in the Sports Science industry with contemporary practitioners providing more support to elite athletes in a much more comprehensive and scientific manner. 'What it Takes to Win' (WITTW) models now form a strategic part of the performance planning process and many factors impact on WITTW variables. Fatigue management, through assessment of sleep and also, associated daytime movement behaviour, is an example of such a factor. I collectively term the assessment of both these variables 'Fatigue Management'. Limited knowledge exists regarding sleep characteristics and movement behaviour of elite athletes. Therefore, I present in this thesis the evolution of the concept of fatigue management practices (through athlete sleep and associated movement behaviour assessment), and show how it has been included in the routine methods of Sports Science and Medicine practitioners. Whilst sleep remains a poorly understood entity there is evidence of a reciprocal relationship between sleep and athletic performance with disturbed sleep having a detrimental effect on psycho-physiological processes. In the absence of an effective fatigue management strategy this can be particularly problematic for elite athletes. A technical description of sleep and associated movement behaviour are presented along with methodologies for fatigue management assessment and details of projects using fatigue management strategies. To add context and insight, subjective findings of the impact of introducing this new concept within UK high performance sports' programmes are presented. I present that physiologists should assess fatigue management in the elite athletes they support and use this assessment for dialogue with coaches and sports science and medicine peers, to ensure provision of optimal fatigue management strategies in the performance programmes with which they work. Finally, success factors, methods of optimal practice and future recommendations for an effective fatigue management strategy are presented.
Supervisor: Passfield, Louis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available