Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Optimizing Sports Performance

The difference between gold-silver-bronze or no medal is often less than one per cent. In other words: small improvements in athletic performance have major consequences. The Optimizing Sports Performance Professorship focuses on improving athletes’ results in training and competitions, with the goal of optimising the performance of Dutch professional athletes.

A lot of the time, athletes can’t train any more than they already do. That’s why the professorship is looking into how they can improve the ways in which they train. The research focuses specifically on rowing – a sport with a fascinating interplay of technique and physiology. In order to achieve a good end result, individual athletes must have excellent coordination skills, and there must also be excellent coordination between the team members.

Focus areas

The professorship has two focus areas. The first is improving athletes’ physical attributes. What is the best level of training intensity? What is the best combination between strength and endurance training?

The second is optimising the efficiency of the way that athletes move. How can athletes ensure that they lose as little energy as possible during training and competitions while being able to deliver as much energy as possible when it is required?

Field labs

The Optimizing Sports Performance Professorship conducts research in the field labs of the Amsterdam Institute of Sport Science (AISS). In a field lab, scientists, trainers, coaches, athletes and students conduct applied research with the objective of improving athletes’ performance.

Published by  Faculty of Health 20 July 2023