Stakes high as schools dabble in elite approach to success

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”They have the finances to pay well,Steelers T-Shirts,” said Craig Duncan, a lecturer at the Australian Catholic University and former head of performance at A-League side Sydney FC, who has fielded offers from top schools. ”I think this is parent driven. Every parent thinks their kids are going to make a living from sport.”
Late last month, Scots boasted about the future involvement of Lee in the school’s ”Fast Bowling Unit”. Earlier this year, Scots’ high-performance football coach,, Chris Petrie, took a sports science role at English Premier League club Crystal Palace.
But Dr Duncan believes the tendency to focus on specialisation and high performance techniques is counter-productive in schools. ”They want them to specialise early, at 12, 10 years of age; long term we’re going to produce less good athletes because kids need to be able to solve movement puzzles,” he said. ”The more sports they are exposed to the better.”
Coaches are not only delivering high-performance training but also increasingly using sports science to boost the performance of schoolboy players. Scots boasts a gym with a ”hypoxic simulated altitude-training environment” that Fairfax Media understands was bought for between $50,000 and $100,000.
Some professional clubs began using the chambers after they became sanctioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. But that was only after former WADA chief Dick Pound criticised them as ”artificial” and wondered about their impact on the spirit of sport.
Even today,Wholesale Troy Polamalu #43 Jersey, the chambers are a rarity at the elite level and, when used improperly, have been linked to increased blood viscosity.
”There’s probably three or four AFL clubs that [have chambers], and the AFL’s the richest sport in Australia,” said Darren Burgess, head of high-performance coaching at Port Adelaide, which does not have a chamber. ”If we’re talking about kids or teenagers, there are so many things kids should be working on above a 2 or 3 per cent gain in their fitness. It’s just a misguided use of resources.”
Dr Burgess made an observational study of elite sports programs at Sydney schools for his doctoral research. He found generally the programs were conducted safely and well,Detroit Lions Nate Burleson, but there was a downside.
”There were issues with talented players doing six or seven days a week of training,” he said. ”There was no management of their [workload]. That’s pretty dangerous for a 13-, 14-, 15-year-old kid.”