Student employability is a key element of the UCLan SENS courses. Nik Kudiersky is about to enter the final year of his Sports Science degree and is undertaking a placement at Fleetwood Town FC.
After spending the early part of the summer helping out in the University’s biomechanics labs and assisting a testing day at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, Nik was given the opportunity to provide sport science and strength & conditioning support to the League One club.
Under the guidance of fitness coach and ex-pro Youl Mawene, Nik's primary role is heart rate data analyst.
We spoke to Nik to find out more: "My placement involves the preparation of heart rate monitors before training, downloading data after training, analysing raw heart rate data, and creating graphical representations of heart rate data which can be easily interpreted by players and coaches.
"Some of my other roles include assisting training set-up, assistance during training to ensure the session runs smoothly (aka ball boy/water boy), taking individual players for cool-down and stretching, and making recovery drinks.
"The practical experience gained at Fleetwood has been invaluable. It has provided insight into the everyday challenges the practitioner faces with balancing scientific rigour with the limitations associated with a strict budget, and the creativity needed to overcome this.
"As well as learning from scratch how to use the Polar heart rate software, I have greatly improved my Microsoft Excel skills, and I've picked up several creative training ideas, all of which will help me greatly in my final year of my degree and augment my career prospects."