Elite sport is following in the footsteps of other human service industries with the flurried development of multidisciplinary support teams. It is increasingly common for elite level teams to have several assistant coaches, team doctors (and medical specialist network), physiotherapists, physiologists, rehabilitation trainers, psychologists, and even more recently ACE (Athlete Career and Education) officers. While the potential for comprehensive athlete servicing is obvious, the potential for working at cross-purposes has also become apparent. This paper will reflect on the authors’ experiences of developing multidisciplinary sport science teams at the elite sporting level. Systems Theory is used as a framework for considering some of the pitfalls and challenges that confront “off-field teams” in facilitating excellence in sporting performance.
Corinne Reid is with the School of Psychology, Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A., 6150, Australia. E-mail: Corinne.Reid@murdoch.edu.au. Evan Stewart and Greg Thorne are at the Western Australian Institute of Sport, Claremont, WA 6010, Australia.