Meet the Experts

To ensure In the Zone has all the best and latest information about sport and science, we have worked with a great team of people across a range of sport and science disciplines. Introducing The Experts!

Simon Drane

Simon Drane

Hi my name is Simon Drane. I'm a sports psychologist and spend the majority of my time at the National Badminton Centre working with the GB Olympic Badminton squad. My main role is to help athletes get stronger mentally so that they can perform at their best when the pressure is on. There will certainly be a lot of pressure at the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games so part of my work looks at the unique pressures of a home games. A lot of people tend to have really good training sessions when they are relaxed but find it hard to reproduce the same level of performance when at competition. It is my job to help people to understand how competition changes how they think and their mental state and then how to cope with it and in fact use it to their advantage.

On the Knowledge Cards for Ages 11-14 and 14-16 I tell students why it is important for athletes to get in the zone to improve their performance.

Ian Gatt

Ian Gatt

Hi my name is Ian Gatt. I'm a sports physiotherapist and work as the lead for the Great Britain boxing programme. My role involves working with boxers to monitor their health and fitness status, predominately through injury management. In order to achieve this, I work closely with coaches and support staff across a wide range of areas of expertise. I have previously worked as lead physiotherapist for Great Britain Volleyball. Prior to this, I worked with sportspeople participating in a wide array of sports at elite level; including gymnastics, tae-kwon-do, weight lifting, cycling, rowing, swimming, volleyball, basketball and football. I was involved at the Athens 2004 Olympics, and worked with athletes around the Beijing 2008 cycle. I am currently involved in the build up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. My responsibilities include: monitoring and treating injuries so athletes can maintain regular training with minimal disruption; identifying prevention strategies; interacting with other professionals to identify the best strategies for athletes to perform at their best.

I appear on the Ages 14-16 Knowledge Card where I explain how muscle exercises can be used to rehabilitate injured athletes.

Valerie Gladwell

Valerie Gladwell

My name is Valerie Gladwelland I am a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex. I teach undergraduates who are taking a Sport and Exercise degree all about how the body works at rest, during exercise and following training. My research involves exploring how the cardiovascular system responds following exercise. I am also passionate about the role physical activity can have on health.

I appear on the Knowledge Card for Ages 16-19 and in the Teacher Guide introducing I've got the power, the suite of experiments for this age range. 

Odette Hughes

Odette Hughes

Hi, I'm Odette Hughes, Associate Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. I joined Wayne McGregor | Random Dance in June 1997 following a dance and technology residency with Wayne in Berlin. I became the company's Rehearsal Director in 2000. I danced for the company for a decade before retiring from the stage and am now responsible for the every day artistic supervision of McGregor's Company. I oversee all performances and direct all rehearsals. I am responsible for organising the company's training schedule.

On the Knowledge Card for Ages 14-16 I tell students how dancers' muscle endurance can be improved through circuit training.

Steve Ingham

Steve Ingham

My name is Steve Ingham. I am the Head of Physiology for the English Institute of Sport. I work with our very best athletes who are training in the hope of winning Olympic medals. I have been working in sports science for 15 years and really enjoy working with such extraordinary individuals and exploring some really interesting questions. Our team helps athletes find the best event for them, work out their strengths and weaknesses, develop their training plans or work out how best to deliver their performance on the day. When our team of sports scientists are able to use their understanding of the human body and how it responds to exercise we can really help athletes go faster, be stronger, go higher, and push forward the boundaries of human achievements.

You will see me in the Teacher Guide where I introduce From strength to strength, the experiments for Ages 14-16. I also appear on the Knowledge Card for students for this age range.

Alison McConnell

Alison McConnell

Hi, I'm Alison McConnell from Brunel University's Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance. I'm researching how sportspeople can train their breathing in order to improve their performance. My recent research has focussed on the influence of inspiratory muscle training and fatigue upon performance.

I have written the introduction to the On your marks…get set…breathe experiments for Ages 11-14 which appears in the Teacher Guide and I also feature in the Knowledge Card for Ages 11-14, where I explain to students why understanding breathing is important to help improve performance.

Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw

My name is Andy Shaw and I am a personal trainer to both elite and recreational athletes. I have worked with the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) and individual rugby players. More recently I have trained triathletes and distance runners for major events. I have always enjoyed participating in sport. However, my interest in working in sport began when I was 16 after I sustained a serious knee injury preventing me from playing professional football. I completed a degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences and then a postgraduate diploma in Sport and Exercise Psychology. I spent a year teaching Sport Psychology at the University of Gloucestershire and became interested in fitness training. After working for a health club and completing my personal training qualifications I found I had a unique approach to personal training and decided set up my own company.

I explain about my role in training athletes and improving their strength in preparation for major events in the Knowledge Card for Ages 14-16.

Holding

Jay Younger

Hi, I'm Jay Younger. I am 17 years old and my event is the 400m sprint. In my first year in athletics (Under 17 level), I became The Scottish Schools Champion and rounded the season off by winning the AAA championships with a personal best. I was also part of the Under 20 Scottish 4×400 m team that broke the Scottish record and I was grateful to be given the award of Young Scottish Athlete of the Year. This year I won the Scottish Championship and have gathered more experience about how to run the 400 m race more effectively.

There are some statistics about me on the Knowledge Card for Ages 16-19 so students compare their results of In the Zone experiments against my data.

News

Get In the Zone with Brazil 2014 and the Commonwealth Games!

After the huge success of London 2012 the sporting craze continues this summer with Brazil 2014 and, straight after the World Cup, we'll be hosting the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

What a great opportunity to get ahead of the games and use your In the Zone kit to bring some of the excitement of these major sporting events into your classroom. You can use the kit to help your pupils discover the science behind the performance of elite footballers like Wayne Rooney, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and what happens in the bodies of top athletes such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farrar when they push themselves to the limit in their quest for gold.

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Get 'In the Zone' for Sochi

We're counting down to some exceptional sport at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and have enjoyed watching In the Zone's champion, Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, on Channel 4's 'The Jump'. To give you some ideas of how to excite your students, here are some suggestions for how to get In the Zone… in the cold! Brrrrr.

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Take It Further

If you've enjoyed In the Zone, here are some ways to extend your In the Zone experience; places to learn more about science and movement; and links to related information.

Find out more

Any questions?

If you need information or have a question about In the Zone, please view our help and support page which contains FAQs and support for the experiments. You can also contact us by email or telephone.

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