Knowledge and reported use of sport science by elite New Zealand Olympic class sailors

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1997 Sep;37(3):213-7.


Objective: This study enquired about the knowledge and reported use of sport science in elite Olympic class sailors.

Experimental design: The sailors responded to a simple questionnaire.

Setting: The questionnaire was administered as part of an introductory seminar on sport science during a training camp.

Participants: The participants were 28 (22 male, 6 female) elite New Zealand Olympic class sailors.

Interventions: None.

Measures: The questionnaire asked whether or not they used a training race diary, enquired about their current and past injuries and their knowledge and use of sport science in the areas of nutrition, psychology and physical training.

Results: Only ten (36%) of the sailors kept a training/race diary. Whilst only four (14%) had a current injury, sixteen (57%) reported an injury in the previous three years. The injuries were in the lower back (45%), knee (22%), shoulder (18%), and arm (15%). Although nineteen (68%) of the sailors had experienced dehydration during racing, the average volume of fluid reported to be taken on a four hour sail was only 0.9 litre, of which only an average of 0.7 litres (77%) was reported to be drunk. All the sailors reported being sometimes (46%) to very often (3%) anxious before races and sometimes (43%) to always (7%) being frustrated with their own mistakes. Only one sailor reported never having negative thoughts whilst fifteen (53%) reported having them sometimes, and seven (25%) often or very often. Twenty-four (86%) of the sailors reported that they sometimes had a loss of concentration near the end of the race. Whilst eighteen (64%) reported practising relaxation and seventeen (61%) reported practising visualisation as a mental skill, only five (18%) practised progressive mental relaxation, two (7%) practised meditation and none practised yoga. Seventeen (61%) undertook strength/circuit training, ten (36%) flexibility and twenty-one (75%) off water aerobic training. Twenty-four (86%) reported undertaking on-water aerobic training.

Conclusions: The results indicate that there is considerable scope for improvement in the knowledge and use of sports science amongst elite New Zealand Olympic class sailors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Arm Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / classification
  • Attention
  • Attitude
  • Back Injuries / etiology
  • Dehydration / etiology
  • Dehydration / prevention & control
  • Drinking
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Frustration
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Knee Injuries / etiology
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Physical Fitness
  • Records
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Science
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Sports* / education
  • Sports* / physiology
  • Sports* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires