Description: This book offers a unique view of sports performance and the factors that can affect the level of performance an athlete can attain.
Purpose: The many factors that affect athletic performance are compressed into three categories: physiological (physical power), psychological (mental strength), and biomechanical (mechanical edge). Each area has a basic explanation with examples of how ergogenic aids can help remove barriers to performance.
Audience: This book would be beneficial to anyone who counsels athletes. The presentation is basic enough to be understood by those who have minimal scientific background and has sufficient information to benefit healthcare professionals who are questioned by athletes about performance.
Features: The manner in which Dr. Williams approaches sports performance takes this complex, multifactorial entity and organizes it so that the efficacy of procedures, materials, and substances can be evaluated. Table 6.2, "Sports and Sports Performance Factors," in chapter 6 offers the factors in each sport which are thought to be relevant for sports performance. In the same chapter, Table 6.3, "Sports Ergogenics and Sports Performance Factors," presents the ergogenics that have been theoretically linked to the various sports performance factors. The most important feature is chapter 8 that rates the various sports ergogenics. Dr. Williams reviews the sports ergogenics as to classification and usage, sports performance factors influenced, theory of mechanism of action, effectiveness, safety, legal and ethical issues, and recommendations concerning use.
Assessment: This book offers a logical look at ergogenics in sports. The information presented is sound and practical. Its strength is in the area of physiological aids. The psychological and biomechanical aids are addressed with solid references if further information is desired. I recommend this book for individuals who are involved with counseling athletes.