Studying Sports Sciences in Germany
An article by Florian Schumann. Cooperation from: Gabriele Meister.
That is what it's about
Under what conditions do athletes perform at their best? How can sport promote health? How do you prevent injuries in the process? Sports Science focuses on questions like these. Theory and practice are taught. In the morning, for example, the students have a lecture on the anatomy of the human musculoskeletal system, then play football, statistics in the afternoons and swimming lessons after that. In the pandemic, they switched to online seminars. For the practical training, which continued to take place, the groups were reduced in size.
Those who study teaching qualification must not only be fit and good at many sports, they should also be able to explain movement sequences well. Everyone else has fewer practical exercises and learns more theory, for example, which techniques are optimal for cross-country skiing or how to extract information about training from data from running watches. Later, graduates work, for example, in the sporting goods industry, at sports clubs, but also at health insurance companies. So you can also decide for a degree in sports without being a top athlete. Nevertheless: "Most students are very enthusiastic about sports and spend every free minute involved in sports," says Ansgar Schwirtz, president of the German Association for Sports Science and Professor at the Technical University of Munich.
This is how the course runs
In the first semesters, all students learn the basics in anatomy, physiology, exercise science and research methods. The universities offer different specialisations, for example sports economics, sports management, competitive sports or sports and leisure. Increasingly important is the approach that sport is part of every phase of life. Much research is taking place on prevention and rehabilitation. If you want to become a teacher, you usually must take a second subject and subject didactics and pass exams in various sports.
Typical questions raised within the subject
- What is the best way to learn a movement sequence?
- How does psyche influence team performance?
- How do you motivate children to take more exercise?
- How do you organise large sporting events?
- How do you keep healthy as you get older?
- How do you train for a competition?
- How healthy is e-sport?
The subject suits you,...
... you are not only enthusiastic about sports, but also persistent and tenacious. "Sports are not experiential studies," Schwirtz warns. A major hurdle in applying to become a teacher is the sports aptitude test, which is usually mandatory. It lasts one or two days, and you must compete in disciplines such as athletics, gymnastics, swimming and a ball sport. "Those who are motivated and train will pass the test, but there are always individuals who never swam 100 metres for time. That's not a good prerequisite," says Schwirtz.
You should also be interested in research, for example, how to deal with the urge to move in people with dementia. A lot of research literature is in English, so you should know the language well. Mathematical and scientific knowledge also helps, many calculations are made, for example the trajectory of a javelin or how the body burns carbohydrates. "You must learn to read studies and assess, for example, how an exercise class will affect an overweight 60-year-old after hip surgery - much like a pharmacist needs to know how medications work," Schwirtz says.
Is there a numerus clausus?
About half of the universities have an entrance restriction, but it varies widely. Some universities also conduct interviews with applicants.