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Synopsis

This book focuses on sports performance. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, "performance" refers to "how well or badly a person, company etc. does a particular job or activity" and "high performance" describes "cars, computers etc. that are able to go faster, do more work etc. than normal ones". In the 100-m dash Usain Bolt is indubitably the fastest person in history and Javier Sotomayor, the world record holder in the high jump, has exhibited the highest level of performance in this event. In these contests, the index of sports performance is unitary; it is simply the time or the jumping/throwing distance. What is it that allows such performers to achieve the fastest running time or the highest jump? One of the topics covered in this book is an attempt to clarify some of the unique motor skills and/or physical abilities that underlie such high performances.

This book comprises a compilation of updated reviews on performance in various sports, including both basic and applied research and is divided into three parts.

The central theme of Part I is the brain. Basic research on human locomotion, motor imagery, and cognitive function are included in this part. In Part II, the focus is on basic information involving high performance in sports, including the athletes’ physiology, genetics, nutrition and biomechanics.

In Part III, entitled “Performance and Coaching in Various Sports”, the latest findings involving skills and performance in individual sports are presented. These performances are thoroughly described and to the extent possible, explained utilizing observations that involve applied biomechanics, coaching science and information technology. In the e-book version, videos and images are available, which provide valuable information on movement in sports. This book will awaken a deeper and more sophisticated interest in exceptional sports performance, not only in specialists such as researchers, athletes, and coaches, but also in laypeople who enjoy participating in and watching sports.

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