Working in the fitness industry has given me the unique opportunity to interface with extremely intelligent and talented individuals. I’ve learned different tips and techniques from each of them, but one of my most favorite sports and fitness pros is Kaitlyn Weiss, PhD Candidate in Sports Biomechanics (okay yes, I’m partially biased toward her). Sports Biomechanics is a fancy way of saying that Kaitlyn studies how the body moves during sports and general physical activities, and she focuses on how to help athletes get in maximal training with the most reduced risk of injury possible.
Since injury prevention and rehabilitation are two very important topics for athletes at all levels, I sat down with Kaitlyn and asked her a few questions about her field of study and some take aways that all athletes can utilize.
1. Tell us a little about yourself – what do you do and what is your area of expertise?
I am a PhD candidate at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. My research is focused on quantifying training loads and their relationship to performance and injuries in professional basketball. I am a sport scientist and strength and conditioning coach. As a sport scientist, I have experience in both applied sport science support to athletes and teams and cutting-edge research.
I use both subjective and objective data and science to improve performance, manage and mitigate injuries for athletes and sporting teams. My primary interest is to develop and maintain athletes and their performance using sports medicine, research, and strength and conditioning. I use technology and develop novel techniques when analyzing the data (when appropriate) to gain more information and to individually work with athletes to improve performance while decreasing factors associated with increased risk of injury. My main objectives are to look at the athletes and identify what is missing and to find the right solutions to assist in monitoring specific variables in order to improve athletic performance while decreasing injury-related issues.
2. How did you stumble upon this passion of yours?
I can’t really say that I stumbled upon this area of work, but more that my interests, experiences working with individuals and teams, and my research led me down this path over time.
3. What’s the most interesting / exciting aspect of your work?
There isn’t one specific thing that is the most interesting or exciting part of my work. As nerdy as this sounds, I truly love all of it. Every experience has opened up new questions and opportunities. I’m so grateful to have found a career that lights me up and gets me excited to work each day. Everything from working with athletes and seeing them get better, come back from injuries, win games, to collaborating on new research projects with colleagues.
4. Is there a common thread you see amongst the athletes you work with?
Athletes, like most people, want to be the best at what they do and remain injury free. That being said, each athlete has their own unique skills and areas they need to improve performance on, as well as their own injury histories, which is why I often apply somewhat of an individualized approach to monitoring and working with each of them.
5. What steps can athletes take to get back to training after they’ve been injured?
The best thing an athlete can do if they’ve sustained an injury is to seek proper medical attention and care. From there, the appropriate parties can develop and treatment and rehabilitation plan to help them recover and return to regular participation in their sport.
My extensive background in kinesiology, strength and conditioning, injuries, and biomechanics allows me to use a variety of individualized approaches to monitor each athlete while working towards improving the overall wellbeing and success of the team. This includes selecting the appropriate technologies, training interventions, tests, injury interventions/management/rehabilitation strategies, and surveillance systems that provide the various coaches, training, and medical staff with the necessary information to make more informed decisions when it comes to each athlete.
To connect with Kaitlyn personally for injury rehabilitation and general programming, please call, text, or email: