Our Honours, Masters and PhD students are constantly conducting high quality research in the areas of performance, recovery and injury. A brief summary of these projects can be found below. If you are interested in studying at SPRINT contact us via email: sprint@acu.edu.au

Reliability and validity of wearable microtechnology devices in team sports

This project looks at the validity and reliability of global navigation satellite systems throughout movements commonplace to field-based team sports. Specifically, we are looking to discover if the validity and reliability is consistent over time eg multiple sessions.

The use of triaxial accelerometry for measuring stride parameters and vertical stiffness in team sport athletes

Inertial measurement units (IMUs) are used for running gait analysis in a variety of sports. These sensors have been attached at various locations to capture stride data. However, it is unclear if different placement sites affect the derived outcome measures. These studies will examine the validity and reliability of accelerometers placed at various sites for the measurement of discrete stride parameters in addition to the impact of fatigue on vertical stiffness and stride variables.

An investigation of hamstring strain injuries in Australian Rules Football

Hamstring strain injuries are the most prevalent injury in the AFL. There is common consensus that strengthening the hamstrings should make them more robust and reduce the likelihood of an injury occurring. High performance programs in elite sport tend to utilise a holistic approach by incorporating several exercises aimed at improving lower limb strength in general, rather than a single exercise for the purpose of reducing injury risk. However why do these injuries still have the highest incidence within the AFL, despite all the preventative evidence that exists? This program of research will investigate the current practices for hamstring strain injury prevention and rehabilitation and the effectiveness of these interventions on reducing the incidence of injury.

The impact of hamstring strain injury on nervous system function

Hamstring strain injury is the most common injury in running based sport. There is limited evidence regarding the role that nervous system function plays in hamstring injury risk. This program of research aims to investigate the corticospinal function of the hamstrings following injury and if these characteristics can be modified.

Strength and biomechanical differences between males and females after anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery

Impairment in lower limb strength and biomechanics is common after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). These impairments have been associated with higher risk of re-injury and early development of knee osteoarthritis. Sex differences in lower limb strength and biomechanics have been previously reported in healthy individuals. However, it is still unclear whether these sex differences are also present after ACLR. These studies aim to identify potential differences in recovery after ACLR between males and females which can be used to develop sex-specific rehabilitation programs

Assessment of sleep characteristics of elite team sport athletes

This series of studies examines the sleep characteristics in elite team sport athletes. Study 1 assesses the objective sleep characteristics, via wrist worn actigraphy, of elite male Australian Football (AF) players during the pre-season and competitive phase whilst Study 2 assesses the association between objective sleep characteristics, self-reported measures of wellbeing and external load in the same population over a 15-day pre-season training period. Study 3 assesses the impact of the quality and quantity of sleep during an international flight on subsequent objective sleep characteristics, training and match day load, self-reported wellbeing, and perceptions of jetlag of elite female cricketers during an ICC T20 Women’s World Cup.

Impact of mental fatigue on strength and power performance

The majority of mental fatigue literature has focused on endurance performance and capacity when fatigued. However, there is a lack of research in the strength and power performance space. As such, this program of research aims to focus on quantifying the impact mental fatigue has on strength and power performance.

The future of Australian Rugby Union: Understanding and developing best practice within the adolescent pathway

This program of research will investigate commonly used fatigue measures and their relationships with physical performance. Studies will quantify the training practices, physical adaptation, and their relationship. Finally, it will investigate how fatigue responses manifest following match play and how the individualised recovery response can be influenced by the physical demands of the game

Testing methods and physical characteristics of female football codes

This program of research will summarise the literature and identify the physical testing methods and output measures used across all the female football-codes and present the anthropometric and physical qualities of female football-code athletes.

The effects of repeated sprint variables on acute perceptual, neuromuscular, and physiological responses

This program of research will investigate the effects of repeated sprint training variables on acute-physiological, neuromuscular, and perceptual responses. It will demonstrate how variables can influence the acute response to repeated sprint training, and how these can be manipulated to enhance acute performance and mitigate fatigue.

The strength and conditioning practices of professional AFL players across the pre-season: relationships with physical development

This program of research will investigate the resistance training practices and changes in physical characteristics of professional AFL players across a pre-season period. It will describe the relationships between resistance training and physical development. This study will detail what professional AFL players do during the pre-season and demonstrate the need for training load monitoring to account for all forms of training.


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