Vertical jumping (namely squat, countermovement, and drop vertical jumping) is widely used as a method for monitoring athletes’ neuromuscular function in a range of professional team sports. Force platforms are being increasingly used to assess vertical jumping, in both research and applied settings, due to their ability to illustrate (through numerical integration of force-time records) the kinetic and kinematic strategies employed to achieve a given jump height. Quantifying specific aspects of vertical jumping strategy is more useful for identifying changes in neuromuscular function than jump height alone, however, there is a distinct lack of rigorous applied scientific studies that have included such detailed data analyses within a professional team sport setting.
The aim of this PhD topic is to expand on this area growing of research by providing new insights into force platform assessment of vertical jumping, as it applies to monitoring professional team sport athletes. The key results of the PhD work should help applied practitioners and researchers to: 1) establish robust force platform assessment methods of vertical jumping; 2) identify practically meaningful kinetic and kinematic vertical jumping variables; and 3) understand how the latter change both acutely (e.g., in response to acute training factors, such as volume-load) and chronically (e.g., across a season or specific training/competition cycles) in professional team sport athletes.
PhD start dates: September 2018, January, July and September 2019
Eligibility: An undergraduate degree in sports science (≥2:1 or higher) or a related area, including biomechanics as part of undergraduate and / or postgraduate studies. Team sport experience is also essential. Completion of a postgraduate degree and appropriate accreditations (e.g. BASES, UKSCA) is desirable.
Application process: Any initial expression of interest should be directed to a member of the supervisory team prior to submitting a formal application