Category: Conference

New season new activities

So, here we are again, after the summer break the new sporting season is about to start in Doha. The development of activities at Aspire academy is now moving faster than ever. We are starting an exciting project with the Qatar Athletics Federation to work closely together to develop talents as well as establish a sustainable structure to integrate coaching, science and medicine. Since September all QAF athletes and coaches will be training at Aspire and we will be working together to realize this vision and be ready for Doha 2019 and beyond. This project really excites me as I can see this being a true legacy project for the state of Qatar and I am proud to be part of it. We are also contributing to the international community with a conference, which has now become an annual event. In fact, after the success of last year’s conference we have organized another event on coaching young athletes with some excellent speakers and are looking forward to welcome all our coaches, and many coaches from around the World to attend as well. The details of the conference are available here. It is a very exciting time for the academy as two of our former students are participating in the World Championships in Beijing and one of them can hopefully bring home a medal (fingers crossed Mutaz and coach Stan!).


Our service delivery to Aspire athletes and coaches keeps improving and we are introducing more detailed monitoring and reporting activities to be able to influence practice and document the coaching approaches being used in our sports. The centralized database has now been implemented and more minimally invasive and wearable technologies  are being developed and deployed to understand more about coaching young athletes. Our applied research activities are continuing and we plan to submit more papers to describe our work as well as challenge current practice on young athletes. I promise to use to blog to keep everyone up to date as well as working with Aspire to communicate through our social media/website channels a bit more about the activities we conduct.

On the science front, we have also decided to make sure we have an annual scientific conference after the success of the Talent ID one we organized last year. This year our focus is on training monitoring and we have some amazing speakers confirmed as well as a great-exciting programme. The conference is completely free and all details are available here.

This is a great opportunity to learn and network as well as a excellent chance to come to visit us, see our wonderful facilities and possibly talk about collaborations and/or bringing your athletes in Doha for training camps.

So, as you can probably gather from my writing, I am looking forward to this sporting season and I hope to meet/see many of you in Doha at one of our events and/or at one of the many international competitions hosted by the state of Qatar.

On the road

It’s been an interesting month. Changing jobs and moving to new challenges. It has been also interesting because I had the chance to visit few places, give talks, meet people, learn loads and reflect on the last 8 years. I was in Vaxjo in Sweden at the end of March to talk about strength and power training. It was great to see some great coaches in the audience (one of my sporting idols and now successful silver medalist coach of the Swedish Handball team was there!) and a brilliant facility with plenty of athletes of all ages. This trip was followed by London for the Sports Analytics Summit to talk about data in Sport and how to use them better, great conference and lots of learning and new ideas. Then I lectured at the Strength and Conditioning Students Conference at Middlesex University and it was great to see so many young practitioners asking loads of questions and engaging to learn more. More recently I travelled to Potsdam University in Germany to give a talk about Science in Sport and discuss few potential collaborations with Professor Urs Granacher and his team. They do loads of interesting things on neuromuscular function, so watch this space for some exciting developments in the future. Spent a great afternoon at Birmingham University with my colleague Dr. Matt Bridge who is doing some very interesting work on Golf. and gave a talk on science and coaching on the road to London 2012. Finally, last Saturday I was at the Football Medicine Conference in London perfectly organised by Isokinetic to give a talk on vibration and its use in rehabilitation in a parallel workshop organised by UCL.

The next few weeks are going to be challenging as I am travelling again, but I am looking forward to catch up with loads of friends and colleagues and also learn about new things and continue to develop some ideas for research work to do in the next few years.

So, I will be at the VISTA conference in Bonn organised by the IPC to talk about technology in sport and how it can be used to help the coach and the athlete. Following that, I will be in Boston at the BSMPG Summer seminar to give two talks, but most of all to listen to some great speakers and visit some of the best sporting teams in the World and engage with some fantastic practitioners. Finally, at the end of May, I will be with Nike in Oregon at the #SPARQ2013 conference with some of my colleagues of the SPARQ Advisory Board.

If you are are a reader and are attending any of the above, make sure you get in touch and give some feedback. I am planning to rearrange the blog and improve it so feedback is needed to get it right. Also, I am starting to think about another edition of the strength and conditioning book so I need to start asking questions of what to improve in the next edition.

I promise to write a bit more in the next few weeks about few topics, time is now on my side (or at least this is what I believe!).

Conference in Italy in November

It is always a pleasure and a surprise to be invited in Italy to speak at a conference. I left Italy many years ago to pursue a career in sports science and research and being invited back home to speak to coaches and sports scientists is always a proud moment and an opportunity to speak my first language again for few days.

The invitation this time has come from the Italian Athletics Federation and CONI for a conference called “Atleticamente”. I have been invited to present in a special session to celebrate my PhD supevisor and mentor Professor Carmelo Bosco. I am very happy about the invitation to this conference and proud also because Bosco’s supervisor, Professor Paavo Komi will be there.

Over the course of my career both Paavo and Carmelo had a great influence. I was always hoping to become as good as they are and have been and to this day they are still a source of inspiration and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet them and spend time with them.

I will talk about my work with Prof. Bosco from the Lab to the field as well as my own research work on the present and the future of sports science in the applied setting.

The conference will be a great opportunity also to learn more about other sporting systems and catch up with colleagues and friends few months before London Olympics.