In the first week of teaching Applied Sport Science, we ask the students to think on what it means to be an Applied Sport Scientist. Specifically, “What are the key skills/characteristics/qualities/competencies required to work in the field of applied sport science?”
Here are the mind maps created from the responses of my students in all three of my classes this trimester:
I always enjoy this process. The insights from students are often surprising, whether in their depth or in their variety. I thought that the emphasis on specific competencies, like being able to conduct a maximal oxygen uptake test, was interesting in that it is probably reflective of the way sport science students are taught. In other words, “If you know how to run these tests, then that makes you a sport scientist.” Yet in the field, it is often the application of “soft skills” that is of most use: communication and delivery of information, maintaining beneficial relationships, conflict resolution, adaptability, eagerness to learn, and so on. To that end, I was glad that each group highlighted the importance of experience. As sport and exercise science encompasses so many disciplines, a Bachelor’s degree in E&SS is just a starting point for further explorations, both theoretical and practical in good measure.