Matt Springham joined St Mary's following his work in elite soccer and he is currently undergoing a PhD on this topic. Whilst lecturing on the S&C programme he is also St Marys liaison with the Royal Ballet where he manages the S&C provision.
Can you give us an overview of your role at St Marys within the S&C programme?
Though I teach across both the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, I principally teach on the planning and organisation of training and science in practice modules on the undergraduate strength and conditioning degree programme. My teaching interests span from these areas to coaching movement skills and data analytics.
What is your history with S&C?
Following my undergraduate (sport and exercise science) and master’s (human performance science) degrees I pursued BASES and UKSCA accreditation to improve my employability in the applied world, and subsequently worked full time in professional football for around 10 years.
This included working for teams spanning the English Football League Championship, Premier League and England national teams. Within these environments I led Sport Science and Strength and Conditioning support teams as part of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary support teams.
Can you talk us through your main research interests?
My research activity is mainly in quantification of load and the immunoendocrine responses to training and match play in professional football.
Discuss how an S&C coach can apply your research to their practice and where you see the potential benefits to the community?
My research is principally applied to professional football teams who are concerned with monitoring the health and training status of their athletes. Modern day professional football players represent significant financial assets to teams. The health and performance potential of players underlines their productivity and is of paramount importance to teams.
My research aims to offer professional football teams intervention strategies to more effectively manage health and performance potential.
Do you have any advice for those entering S&C?
My advice to a prospective S&C coach is to speak to as many experienced practitioners as possible and forge as many strong relationships with people in the field as possible. Identify an appropriate mentor to bounce ideas and thought processes to and from. Let this informal level of education support your formal academic development. Forging strong professional relationships will go a long way to improving your employability.
How can we find out more about your current research and / or applied practice?
I will continuously update my publication list on my St Marys portfolio if you want to stay in touch with my research activity. Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions!