Courteney Benjamin MS, CSCS
Associate Director of Communication and Assistant Director of Athlete Performance and Safety
Members of KSI had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 40th annual National Strength and Conditioning Conference
where strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers, sport scientists, sport nutritionists, and health enthusiasts gathered to present, network, and honor certain outstanding members.
We were fortunate to attend a lecture given by this year’s Sport Scientists of the Year, Shawn M, Arent, and Dave DiFabio from Polar, whom we had the opportunity to work with in the past. They discussed the use of wearable technology and how coaches and sport scientists should start thinking about applying the knowledge we gather from this data to practice.
Ryan Curtis, Yasuki Sekiguchi, and I presented some of the recent research findings from the KSI. I presented a poster titled, “Analysis of Women’s Cross Country Lab Tests Results and Training Over the Course of a Competitive Fall Season” on Thursday (7/13/17). I examined the change in lactate testing, VO2 max and training of the UCONN Women’s Cross Country team during their fall season. The major finding of this study was the vOBLA (velocity at onset of blood lactate) was significantly higher during the middle of the season while VO2 max did not change throughout the season. During my presentation, I was very excited to reconnect with two of my former colleagues from Florida State University. Daniel Shaefer was the former director of strength and conditioning at FSU and is now working on is PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jon Jost was the former FSU director of strength and conditioning and recently accepted a position with Gatorade. I am hopeful that we will get an opportunity to collaborate on future research. I also had the fortune to meet Kristen Holmes-Winn, from WHOOP, who funded the research Ryan and I presented at this conference.
Yasuki Sekiguchi presented a poster titled “Heartrate Variability between Starters and Nonstarters throughout a Collegiate Soccer Season.” During this study, HRV and training load metrics were monitored over the course of D1
college soccer season. The relationship between these variables were examined for all players, starters, and nonstarters. The major finding of this research was that acute:chronic training load ratio might be used to explain the changes in HRV over the course of a Division 1 male soccer team
Ryan Curtis did an oral presentation on Saturday (7/15/17) titled “Relationship between Sleep, Training Load and Fitness in Collegiate Soccer.” Overall this study illustrated that sleep quality may be more sensitive to increased training load than sleep quantity. Collegiate athletes with increased training loads have increased light sleep but not REM sleep or overall sleep duration.
Outside of the conference, we had a fantastic time exploring the Las Vegas strip and the beautiful hotel hosting us and the conference, Paris Las Vegas. I am extremely thankful to the NSCA and KSI for the opportunity to collaborate and learn from others in the field while making memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to attending this event next year and present the results from our upcoming projects.