Sports sciences

In 2010, with the view that scientific advances contribute significantly to improving performance, the Institut national du sport du Québec created a department whose objective is to provide athletes and training groups with both proven and innovative scientific services.

INS Québec’s sports medicine team establishes health baselines, provides treatment and offers nutritional services. In partnership with the sports medicine department, the scientific team contributes to preparations for international competitions, improving performance with complements to training. The scientific team cooperates with the training department to decide on the content of coaches’ training programs and in choosing service providers.

Scientific policy

Given the importance of combining scientific knowledge based on research with experience, the team blends the latest innovations with methods and tools that have already proven their effectiveness to improve athletes’ performance.

The best sports science services benefit from the support of partnerships with researchers and the use of the latest technological advances. Human abilities are at the heart of our priorities. Teamwork within INS Québec and integrated support teams plus cooperation with university-based partners allow us to combine individual efforts for the benefit of the athletes and sports receiving these scientific services.

The sports science department works with researchers interested in high-performance sports as well as professors on sabbatical and student interns. Projects are also carried out in cooperation with companies that develop products, software or methods that are useful in high-level competition.

Scientific services

Every request for scientific services is jointly assessed by the sports medicine and scientific teams. The aim of this assessment is to distinguish the sport’s needs based on the request and to determine which components require improvement in order to produce the greatest gain in performance. Following this principle ensures that scientific services are invested in an efficient way.

Once the needs assessment is complete, one or more components of performance may be targeted, such as:

Performance analysis

Analyzing and optimizing athletes’ technique, using video and accelerometers (e.g. short-track speedskating, para-cycling or swimming).

Biomechanics

  • Measuring the performance of athletes’ movements in competition or training situations.
  • Developing tools and methods for collecting data in action.
  • Performing qualitative and quantitative analysis of movement.
  • Measuring performance in the training room and in the pool.
  • Quantifying and analyzing performance using accelerometers.

Physiology

  • Offering guidance in planning yearly training programs.
  • Assessing athletes’ physical fitness and conditioning.
  • Optimizing activation.
  • Verifying the effects of ergogenic aids.
  • Developing strategies to adapt to different time zones.
  • Fostering regeneration/recovery.

Physical training

  • Improving specific qualities and preventing injuries.
  • Planning and carrying out testing to track physical capacities and individual training loads.

Mental training

  • Assessing mental abilities (relaxation, setting goals, imagery, etc.).
  • Setting mental training programs, competition plans and routines.
  • Management of stressful situations (mindfulness).
  • Monitoring in competition and remotely.

Techniques and strategies

  • Using implicit methods to learn techniques.
  • Training in decision-making (team sports, combat sports, golf and driving).
  • Assessing and training in visual strategies (with mobile or wireless eye trackers).

 

Research and development

 

Research and development lie at the heart of our scientific services. INS Québec partners with research institutes, universities and companies to study equipment and services, while researchers associated with INS Québec carry out studies in cooperation with its in-house scientists and may supervise student interns at INS Québec.

Internships at INS Québec

 

INS Québec scientists are available to supervise interns each semester. This is an exceptional chance for students to put their knowledge into practice while contributing to the services provided by the scientific team. Such opportunities to be immersed in a high-performance sports setting are rare and may vary according the demands of the different sports and scientific projects. Internships require working at INS Québec facilities and occasionally at different training and competition locations.

 

If you are a student and would like to take on an internship in high-performance sports sciences, you may submit your CV and state your reasons for applying using the link in the Careers section. Applications will be assessed each semester based on needs.