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NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science

NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science features contributions from 52 globally recognized experts and thought leaders from the field of sport science.


SKU: 9781492593355 Category:

Within the domain of sport, the application of science is more apparent than ever before. Not only are universities and academic institutions scientifically investigating sport as one element of human performance, but professional teams, sporting organizations, and private training companies are embracing approaches that use scientific principles to help their athletes and teams gain a competitive edge in sporting competition.

The potential for applying science to sport training and sport performance is vast. There is a demand for sport scientists who can collect and convert data into valuable information—information that drives decision making and directly influences performance outcomes. To address this growing need, the world-renowned National Strength and Conditioning Association developed the Certified Performance and Sport Scientist (CPSS) certification, along with the must-have reference for anyone in the field.

NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science features contributions from 52 globally recognized experts and thought leaders from the field of sport science. It is the only resource to go beyond sport science’s foundations—physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, nutrition, and skill acquisition—to address the use of statistics and broader fields of data science, analytics, and technology management. Readers will explore every aspect of the sport scientist’s role: understanding training theory, performing needs analyses, conducting athlete monitoring and assessment, managing data and analytics, and educating and disseminating information. The integration of these technical skills will guide sport scientists in drawing conclusions that can be used to manipulate training methods and shape competition strategies for the betterment of athletes’ health, well-being, and performance.

NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science offers a holistic overview of the technical expertise, skills, and knowledge required to operate effectively as a modern-day sport scientist. Further, it will help prepare candidates for the NSCA’s CPSS certification exam and aid all sport scientists in acquiring and using the best available evidence—at the right time, in the right environment, and for the right individual—to maximize their performance.


Primary preparation resource for NSCA’s Certified Performance and Sport Scientist (CPSS) certification exam; reference for sport scientists and professionals working in sport performance.

Additional information

Weight 4.05 kg
Dimensions 11 × 8.5 cm
Table of Contents

Foreword: Reflections on Sport Science
Michael H. Stone, PhD, and William J. Kraemer, PhD

Part I. Training Theory and Process

Chapter 1. Performance Dimensions
Nick Winkelman, PhD, and Darcy Norman, PT

Chapter 2. Training Load Model
Stuart Cormack, PhD, and Aaron J. Coutts, PhD

Chapter 3. Periodization and Programming for Individual Sports
G. Gregory Haff, PhD

Chapter 4. Periodization and Programming for Team Sports
Martin Buchheit, PhD, and Paul Laursen, PhD

Part II. Needs Analysis

Chapter 5. Key Performance Indicators
Marco Cardinale, PhD

Chapter 6. Profiling and Benchmarking
Mike McGuigan, PhD

Part III. Technology and Data Preparation

Chapter 7. Technological Implementation
Lorena Torres Ronda, PhD

Chapter 8. Data Hygiene
Matthew C. Varley, PhD, Ric Lovell, PhD, and David Carey, PhD

Part IV. External and Internal Load Data Collection

Chapter 9. Characteristics of Tracking Systems and Load Monitoring
Jo Clubb, MSc, and Andrew M. Murray, PhD

Chapter 10. Analysis of Tracking Systems and Load Monitoring
Andrew M. Murray, PhD, and Jo Clubb, MSc

Chapter 11. Kinematics and Gait Analysis
Enda King, PhD, and Chris Richter, PhD

Chapter 12. Kinetics and Force Platforms
Daniel Cohen, PhD, and Cory Kennedy, MSc

Chapter 13. Strength Tracking and Analysis
Jean-Benoît Morin, PhD, and Pierre Samozino, PhD

Chapter 14. Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability
Joel Jamieson

Chapter 15. Electroencephalography and Electroneuromyography
Roman N. Fomin, PhD, and Cassandra C. Collins, BS

Chapter 16. Biomarkers for Health and Performance
Xavier Schelling i del Alcázar, PhD, Julio Calleja-González, PhD, and Nicolás Terrados, MD, PhD

Chapter 17. Perception of Effort and Subjective Monitoring
Shaun J. McLaren, PhD, Aaron J. Coutts, PhD, and Franco M. Impellizzeri, PhD

Part V. Data Analysis and Delivery

Chapter 18. Statistical Modeling
Mladen Jovanović, Lorena Torres Ronda, PhD, and Duncan N. French, PhD

Chapter 19. Injury Risk Model
Johann Windt, PhD, and Tim Gabbett, BHSc (Hons), PhD

Chapter 20. Data Mining and Nonlinear Data Analysis
Sam Robertson, PhD

Chapter 21. Data Delivery and Reporting
Tyler A. Bosch, PhD, and Jacqueline Tran, PhD

Chapter 22. Performance Interventions and Operationalizing Data
Clive Brewer, BSc (Hons), MSc

Part VI. Special Topics

Chapter 23. Recovery and Sleep
Jessica M. Stephens, PhD, and Shona L. Halson, PhD

Chapter 24. Fueling and Nutrition
Louise M. Burke, PhD, and Eric S. Rawson, PhD

Chapter 25. Environmental Stress
Yasuki Sekiguchi, PhD, Courteney L. Benjamin, PhD, and Douglas J. Casa, PhD

Chapter 26. Psychobiology: Flow State as a Countermeasure to Mental Fatigue
Chris P. Bertram, PhD

Chapter 27. Neuroscience Approach to Performance
Roman N. Fomin, PhD, and Cassandra C. Collins, BS

Chapter 28. Motor Performance
Gabriele Wulf, PhD

Chapter 29. Sport Science of Injury
David Joyce, BPhty (Hons), MPhty (Sports), MSc, and Kay Robinson, BSc (Hons)

Part VII. Education and Communication

Chapter 30. Interdisciplinary Support
Duncan N. French, PhD

Chapter 31. Information Dissemination
Yann Le Meur, PhD


Founded in 1978, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing the strength and conditioning and related sport science professions around the world. The NSCA exists to empower a community of professionals to maximize their impact through disseminating evidence-based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services, networking opportunities, and continuing education. The NSCA community is composed of more than 60,000 members and certified professionals throughout the world who further industry standards as researchers, educators, strength and conditioning coaches, performance and sport scientists, personal trainers, tactical professionals, and other related roles.

Duncan N. French, PhD, is the vice president of performance at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Performance Institute and has more than 20 years of experience working with elite professional and Olympic athletes. Prior to joining the UFC, French was the director of performance sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a technical lead for strength and conditioning at the English Institute of Sport.

French has worked three Olympic cycles as the national lead for strength and conditioning to Great Britain’s basketball and, more recently, taekwondo Olympic programs. He earned his PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2004 and has authored or coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts. He is a fully accredited strength and conditioning coach with the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). French is a former chairman of the UKSCA and received an honorary fellowship in 2014 for his services to the strength and conditioning industry. French holds academic honorary fellowships with Australia Catholic University in Melbourne Australia and Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.

Lorena Torres Ronda, PhD, has extensive experience as a high-performance specialist in professional and Olympic sports. She has served as the performance director for the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the sport scientist and research and development coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), and the sport scientist and strength and conditioning coach for the F.C. Barcelona basketball team and the Spanish national swimming team. Additionally, she has been a part of the NBA scientific committee.

Torres Ronda is currently an adjunct fellow at the Institute for Health and Sport (iHeS) at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. She holds a PhD in sport science, is a strength and conditioning coach, and has a wide educational and research background spanning five different universities across the globe, with specializations in sport performance and sport science. In addition to leadership and high-performance culture, her focus centers on athletic performance, sport science, technology and innovation, data analysis and visualization (decision support systems), training and competition monitoring, load management, advanced recovery, and sports nutrition.

Torres Ronda has authored or coauthored more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers on athletic performance topics. She is passionate about merging science with practical applications.


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