Sports science needs more interdisciplinary, constraints-led research programmes: The case of water safety in New Zealand
Place of Publication
Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research / School of Medical and Health Sciences
In the lead article of this special issue, Paul Glazier proposes that Newell's constraints model has the potential to contribute to a grand unified theory of sports performance in that it can help to integrate the disciplinary silos that have typically operated in isolation in sports and exercise science. With a few caveats discussed in this commentary, we agree with Glazier's proposal. However, his ideas suggest that there is a need to demonstrate explicitly how such an integration might occur within applied scientific research. To help fill this perceived ‘gap’ and thereby illustrate the value of adopting a constraints-led approach, we offer an example of our own interdisciplinary research programme. We believe our research on water safety is ideally suited to this task due to the diverse range of interacting constraints present and as such provides a tangible example of how this approach can unify different disciplinary perspectives examining an important aspect of sport performance.