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5th January 2009, 10:49am
Olympic star aims to inspire elite sports coaches
Bryan Steel Elite sports coaches from across the region met at the University of Lincoln to hear an Olympic medal-winning cyclist describe how the latest coaching techniques can boost top athletes’ performance.

Bryan Steel represented Great Britain at four Olympic Games – claiming bronze at Sydney in 2000 and silver at Athens in 2004.

He was the special guest as the University’s Human Performance Centre hosted an event for sports coaches working with athletes who compete at county level or higher.

The conference, called Raising the Bar, was organised to highlight the expertise and facilities available at the University – and to explore how it can support the sporting talent across Lincolnshire.

Bryan, who brought along his Olympic medals to offer inspiration to the coaches and young athletes present, explained how the Great Britain cycling team had fined-tuned its coaching methods to help great athletes like Chris Hoy to push their standards even higher.

He said: “What British cycling has done over the last few years is develop the athlete as a complete package, making sure their careers go in the right direction and looking closely at planning and goal-setting.”

University of Lincoln Director of Sport Robin Wright said: "This event is about raising the profile of the Human Performance Centre. We have got coaches from all over the county looking at how human performance coaching here can raise the bar just that little bit more for their top performers.”

Young cricketers from the Lincolnshire County Under-12s team played shots in the nets as the University’s Human Performance Team analysed the players’ batting and bowling actions.

Biomechanical analysis equipment comprising of a series of cameras and computers were used to record their movements frame-by-frame. The data was then analysed and displayed using Quintic Biomechanics software.

Daniel Bishop, Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln, said: “It allows us to provide useful feedback to coaches and players and offer some precise quantitative data. Biomechanical analysis is pivotal in improving technique and preventing injuries in players competing in fast, high-impact sports, such as cricket.”

Cricket team coach Paul Inman said: “To be able to use the facilities here is fantastic. With players of this age, we can detect flaws in a bowling action. We can break down the action frame-by-frame – it could just be something tiny which makes the difference.”

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