IB Sports Science

Article by: James Y.

Photos by: Manapo I.

For all students and teachers, the new school year has commenced with an exciting array of available courses, and with the IB Diploma program structured to give the most curated learners a chance to excel in their respective courses, an integral part of its curriculum is the Group 4 experimental sciences. While Biology, Chemistry, and Physics reign as the most popular subjects undertaken by our scientists with optional courses in Grade 10 being a choice for distinguished interests, a parallel IB course in Sports Exercise and Health Science, often shortened to Sports Science, is a commonly overlooked option by the community.

Developed over recent years, Sports Science is an experimental course that combines study with the acquisition of practical and investigative skills. It has an applied curriculum with aspects of biological and physical science synthesized in the specific context of sports, exercise and health. Its curriculum, offered at both Standard (SL) and Higher Levels (HL), invigorates students to strategically channel external interests with which Sports Science effectively overlaps. Both SL and HL undertake a common core syllabus that chiefly incorporates the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and nutrition.

The reputation of the Sports Science has strong international dimensions in a wealth of career paths, such as international sporting competition and the international bodies that regulate them. A common leverage developed by the students at ISM is that the achievement of excellence in competitive sports is the result of innate ability and the pursuit of physical and mental training accompanied by appropriate nutrition. Training programme designs should not be left to locomotor skills nor concentrate on purely grit. Rather, they should be designed thoughtfully and analytically after consideration of the holistic demands of the activity.

Senior Alex C, an HL student, says, “I enjoy the practical aspect of much of the theory developed behind sport through Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.” He sees it as a balance between academics and sport, and thus enjoy its physical applications such as “calculating the Angle of Archeries, and optimizing motion to enhance racing performance.” Notably, both Alex and another senior HL student, Seiryo S., strive to negate the common misconception that “Sports Science is not a real science; merely PE at a higher, more intense level” by arguing that its practical benefits for aspiring athletes and relevance to real activities is second to none.

Evidently, a lack of publicity fails to do IB Sports Exercise and Health Science justice, despite its wide prevalence under the popular sports the course stems from. Through the academic rigor, students and teachers can recognize the connection sport has between both theory and common practice. With the sciences being widely favored at ISM, more exposure should be granted to younger students through introductory classes such as Personal Training and FunFastFit to foster a new culture of applied and investigative learning.