This week's video is a great insight into the difference science is making to women’s sport, and specifically how the lure of an Olympic medal is changing women’s boxing.
Set in the Australian Institute of Sport, the clip follows boxer Sarah McFarlane as scientists examine her punches. Women’s boxing officially became an Olympic sport at London2012 and this focus is one of the results.
One sports scientist spells it out in this clip, saying: ‘All of the top ten countries win medal in Combat Sports (at the Olympics) except one, and that is Australia.’ And if you know anything about Australian’s obsession with sport, you’ll know that’s a red rag to a bull.
I visited the AIS in Canberra in 2008 and pretty much swooned with envy at the facilities. I was training in an inner-city Sydney boxing-gym at the time, very different atmosphere to say the least.
The training we see McFarlane doing is clinical and precise. Boffins measure the power of each punch,
looking to see which stance is best. They measure her heart-beat, her breathing to see as McFarlane says if she is relaxed and how that is impacting on her power.
Coming from an Australian Rules Football background, McFarlane was drafted into the AIS as part of a clear strategy for Australia to beef up their medals. Read more about her here in the SMH.
Have a look at the clip – I’m interested to know what people think of this type of training? Have you experienced this? Is it something you’d like to try?
Thanks to Diagnonal View for alerting me to this.