Dr. Jay Patel

Director of Sports Performance Science
  • PhD in kinesiology with a focus in sport biomechanics.
  • Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science with the University of South Carolina, which is the #1 Sports Science program in the nation.
  • 8 years analyzing human biomechanics using advanced motion capture technology to optimize performance and prevent injury in the high school through Olympic level athlete.
  • 8 years research experience in biomechanics and various healthcare related topics emphasizing an evidence-based approach to strength and conditioning, corrective exercise, sports medicine and rehab.

WHAT I DO:
“My role is to support multiple different aspects of sports performance training and healthcare of our student athletes to promote optimal athleticism, health, and injury prevention/rehabilitation. I aim to facilitate communication between all performance, health and athletics team members to ensure that the student is set up to achieve their best health and performance both on and off the field.”

WHERE DOES SPORTS PERFORMANCE SCIENCE FIT IN WITH SPORTS MEDICINE AND STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING?
“I’m here in a support role for the strength and conditioning staff, sports performance staff, sports medicine staff, including the team physicians, athletic-trainers, the sports nutrition staff and team dieticians, as well as the mental health and wellness staff.

My goal is to help support the many resources that are already available within the local health care systems as well as the academic units, whether it’s research, developing grants or funding for different research projects for different equipment that is available, as well as investigating the different types of innovations for sports performance, whether it’s private therapy, or any type of technologies that are innovative so we can vet them out and make sure they’re reliable.

“I feel that I have a good relationship with both sports medicine and the strength and conditioning staff. Being a former strength and conditioning coach has helped me connect with the strength and conditioning staff. It’s more than just lifting weights. There’s a mental aspect. There’s a nutrition aspect. When you have sports medicine staff as well as a strength and conditioning staff being collaborative and working together, that’s what makes it unique. Everything is related when it comes to athletic performance.

“When you combine all of those powers, it just brings us to the next level.”

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AND HOW DOES THAT MAKE STUDENT-ATHLETES BETTER HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA?
“What I do is unique because it brings the different silos or different islands together, whether it’s the health care system, physicians, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition – it’s all related.

“It all works together. When all of those levels are optimized, it brings out a better student-athlete.

“The field of sports performance science has definitely changed in the last several years. It’s more than just lifting weights. It’s about the order of exercises, the types of exercises, the mental aspect, and how you fuel or re-hydrate yourself and what you take to recover your body. There’s definitely much more thought and science to what these student-athletes are doing.”

WHAT SEPARATES SOUTH CAROLINA FROM OTHER SCHOOLS AROUND THE COUNTRY IN TERMS OF WHAT IT OFFERS ITS STUDENT-ATHLETES?
“All the resources available and having them all together, plus having the department of exercise science as the #1 department in the nation, you have all the resources from these people that are publishing books on how to provide for elite performance. They are all in town. Bringing them all together, whether it’s from a student-teacher aspect, or from research, or just having communication with coaches so they can understand more from this faculty and professors, it’s all an advantage.”