Sprint acceleration performance in team sports : biomechanical characteristics and training methods

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Exercise. Biomedical and Health Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


Sprinting is a fundamental activity in many team sports such as soccer, rugby, football, field hockey, and basketball. Specifically, the ability to rapidly increase sprint running velocity over short distances, which is often referrcd to as sprint acceleration ability, is of major importance to team-sport athletes since sprint efforts during team-sport matches are typically of short duration (e.g., 10-20 m, 2-3 s). Biomechanical characteristics of the acceleration phase of sprinting has previously been studied in track sprinters from a block start, but there is a dearth of research exploring tile biomechanieal charactcristics of sprint acceleration in team-sport athletes from starting positions that are specific to team-sport match situations (e.g., standing start). In addition, resisted sprint training such as weighted sled towing is a popular training modality that athletes often use in an effort to improve sprint acceleration ability, but its use is largely based on choaches' observation and lacks experimental evidence. In particular, the optimal training load for resisted sprint training is currently unknown. This thesis explored to fill the research gap in such areas.