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  • Writer's pictureTim Barry

TJBarry Consulting Ltd. Sport & Exercise Science

Updated: Sep 7, 2019


· To enable a sport science and medical team to maximise potential for innovation, research and development.

· To provide a clear framework to secure funding through tax relief for research into science and technology within sport.

· To improve guidance on staff efficiency, performance and wellbeing through focussed education aligning to the strategy of the business/club.

· To help improve player performance and reduce injury.


I have over 22 years’ experience of leading, managing, strategy building and planning in Sport & Medical Science within Higher Education. My work has included national roles with the Chartered Institute of Management, Sport and Physical Activity and as a member of the British Association of Sport & Exercises Sciences Head of Departments forum. I am a current member of the Advisory Board for ‘Active Cumbria’ and set up and developed the Sport Development Unit for the University of Cumbria. I currently hold consultancy roles for Sportlight Technology Ltd., a premiership football club and a professional golfer. I have many former graduates now plying their trade in professional sport with six currently working in football in the Premier League. Gaining funding for research is essential for practitioners to secure time and resources. I have extensive experience of applying for research grants and am currently an Associate of RandD UK, one of the leading tax credit experts in the country.

Any sport business will plan competition priorities and implement key supporting projects in a timely manner to ensure success. This comes from a clear strategy to create a culture of high performance requiring detailed plans from the bottom up for players, coaches and support staff. High quality training environments will have a strategy for clear leadership, coaching, talent identification, athlete development and support services. Sport Science and integrated focussed research and development can play a key role in the innovation, introduction and improvement of such a strategy.

In the fast-moving environment of professional sport, Sport Science practitioners are involved in the day to day delivery of training, rehabilitation, preparation for competition and recovery for both individuals and teams. They need to collect and analyse data (eg, training load, recovery, screening) to inform decisions on individual players. With time constraints, data may not be interrogated to the level that a researcher might aim for. Nevertheless, practitioners are expected to be innovative, and often become early adopters of new technology and techniques to gain competitive advantage (eg, cryotherapy). In-house R&D can inform judgements and decisions taken in the fast-working environment.

As a consultant I can offer the role of a focused researcher, operating behind the scenes on tasks that front line practitioners may not have time and/or skills to undertake. Posing difficult questions can often stimulate staff to focus on the real issues they need answered. I have the ability to help design and fund long term research and development. My educational experience will help with setting goals for staff development to improve the efficiency and performance of individuals and teams.

I can undertake important tasks such as determining measurement noise/error in performance tests, establishing proof of concept for new ideas and ensuring validity of methods. Embedding research into the fast environment of high-performance sport may provide a competitive advantage using ethical and evidence-based methods. I will be able to provide a clear picture of how Sport Science can succeed in improving performance over the short and long term. An integrated R&D and innovation program is paramount for a team or individual to be continually successful in a high performance culture.


Planning – develop a 5 year research and development plan.

Funding – write an application to HMRC for Research and Development tax credits. Explore opportunities for research grants.

Provide links to key Universities to support research and development.

Support practitioners in undertaking a meaningful measurements from their athletes (eg, injury-screening, recovery/monitoring).

Measure the typical variation surrounding the actual change in measurements

Apply statistical methods to determine what a real change is, for practitioners to act on. Utilise week-to-week variation (CV) and smallest worthwhile change (SWC) to determine 'real and meaningful' changes.

Investigate the legitimacy of new technologies and methods/procedures that claim to accelerate recovery, reduce injuries and enhance performance.

Assign graded-recommendations for new products or procedures in practice, based on scientific level and quality of evidence from research literature combined with expert opinion. This ensures that products or processes introduced are based on solid evidence and cost-effectiveness.

Communicate relevant data with practical meaning.

Provide translation of data from complex analyses into clear messages to inform decision-making.

Provide an effective way to optimise decision-making of the fast-intuitive practitioner through embedding R&D within the team, ensuring an ethical, valid and financially prudent approach to the innovation, introduction and improvement of processes.

Introduce a model to look and injury occurrence/prevention.

Support staff in developing skills and education that align to the strategy of the organisation they are working in.


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