‘Testing times’ as Sports students put Cobblers players through their paces

Helping ‘The Cobblers’ keep in tip-top condition whilst boosting their learning was the ‘name of the game’ for Sports students.

The Northampton Town First Team dropped into Waterside this week for pre-season fitness tests and extra advice and support from University of Northampton’s (UON) Sports degree students.

The sessions will inform the First teams’ training for the next six weeks, ahead of the start of the season in late July, and supplemented the practical side of the students’ degrees.

Isaac Shamu and Dan Maloney – both in the final year of their Sports Rehabilitation and Conditioning degrees – are two of the students who put the team through their paces and developed their own skills at the same time.

Isaac talks about what happened: “We provided a number of tests for the team, including Functional Moving Screening (FMS) and movement jumps, all designed to see how their bodies are working for optimal playing ability.

“The tests allowed us to raise red flags for the team as we assessed for injuries and judged whether an injury could happen. We also advised on possible treatments we have been trained to provide, such as remedial massage. Thankfully, nothing serious was detected!”

Isaac Shamu and Northampton Town Football Club's First Team

Isaac Shamu (left) and his Sports student peers with the Northampton Town Football Club’s First Team.

This opportunity has been offered to UON Sports students for the past year, and helps marry their class-based learning to a live, real-world scenario.

Daniel talks about what he has gained from the pre-season testing: “Without a doubt, this has been an important aspect of my degree because I needed something extra to develop my communication skills. By working with different groups of professionals and adapting what I said, I also tested myself.

“We adhere closely to protocols around testing informed by research, so working on an actual caseload of players and not examples in a textbook has boosted how I do this and communicate that to the people I’m testing.

Isaac adds what he has gained from the pre-season testing: “I’ve developed my leadership qualities as I managed the tests rather than supporting or observing. It allowed me to incorporate what I’ve learned in previous course modules and be more analytical. I knew what to look for and what to do.”

Ashlee Adebayo is Northampton Town’s First Team Sports Scientist and is a graduate of UON’s Sport and Exercise Science degree. He said: “University of Northampton’s facility has been first class for us this pre-season. The standard of care and attention to detail is second to none.

“The students were highly competent and engaging in delivering the pre-season testing. This is a vital link we will continue to utilise as we build our relationship with the University. This will enable us to continue developing our academy and First team players.”

Find out more about Sport Sciences degrees at the University of Northampton.

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