An Integrated Support Team (IST) works to support coaches, athletes and teams, and includes sport sciences, sport medicine and other team management professionals. Their goal is to ensure that Canadian athletes are healthy, fit and psychologically ready for optimal performance.
Each IST is unique depending on the nature of the sport and the specific needs of the coaches and athletes. An IST might include a physiologist, sport psychologist, biomechanist, dietitian, strength and conditioning specialist, physical therapist, athletic therapist and a physician. The IST enhances the coaches training, competitions and recovery plans with appropriate scientific and medical input, customized to fit the needs of the athlete. Additional resources might include a performance analyst, who uses various new innovations in video and technology for the purpose of performance enhancement, as well as sport and marketing administrators.
Depending on the sport, additional support may come from the National Sport Organization (or NSO), including the High Performance Director and National team head coach for that particular support. Given the number of individuals that sometimes support an athlete, the IST lead works to ensure all parties have the information they require and that everyone is working toward the same a communal goal. This involves regular IST meetings, as well as being a liaison as needed.