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Objectives:The training of elite athletes is a very long and complicated process. The aim of the present study is to examine the training system of elite athletes in the U.S.
Methods:Three different paths were followed to collect the information. First, the web sites of organizations such as U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), National Council of Youth Sports, National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA Eligibility Center and Oklahoma State University (OSU) which brings in leading role for sports in their respective fields were accessed and related publications comprehensive database search was conducted in EBSCO HOST Sport Discus, PubMed and Medline. Second, the sports facilities, fields and tools at Oklahoma State University and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center (CSOTC) were examined. Finally, coaches of the OSU Athletic teams were interviewed.
Results:The American college system differs from other countries because college sports in the U.S. are a big business sector; coaches usually have a scholarship budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Scholarships for athletes may range from a minimum of contributions to full scholarship covering tuition fees, housing, meals, and books. USOC maintains and operates three national Olympic Training Centers. The USOC has established 17 Olympic Training Sites in 15 states across the United States. Millions of dollars have been invested in these complexes to ensure that athletes receive the best training in the U.S.
Conclusions: In the U.S., there is a systematic structure related to sports, which includes the whole education process from elementary school to the end of a college education. Education and sports are parallel. Schools are the hub of mass sports and elite athletic training. Universities offer the most ideal opportunities for athletes. Universities target and achieve not only the athletic development of the student-athlete but also the well-rounded development of their education.
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