Rights: The University of Waikato Published 21 June 2007 Download

Dr Justin Keogh and post-graduate research student Simon Pearson from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) describe how their research is used to improve athletic performance. Athletes Richard Patterson and James Dolphin talk about the edge that recent research findings give to their performance.


What I’ve been working on with Team NZ at the moment is with their grinders on the boats, so the guys who, they’re kind of like the engine room on an Americas Cup boat, they’re responsible for moving the sails and all that kind of thing. I’ve basically been working on improving their performance through a variety of different means. Some of it’s looking at technical aspects in the way they actually grind. Trying to make them more efficient, more powerful and then that crosses over also into looking at how they’re training. So trying to make their training more efficient so its more specific to what they are doing on the boat.

The research that we do is fed back to our practitioners, our strength and conditioners, our exercise physiologist and they use that information to improve their practice. So again to further benefit the athletes they work with.

Research is how to keep up with the super powers of sport these days. Especially with Olympic weightlifting, new training techniques, physiology. Anything to gain in a sport that now is, but to get to an elite level, an Olympic level you need to use all the recent research.

You can't just go out and write a programme on your own and expect it to work. There is a lot of research done in behind the scenes. Seeing what’s worked with other people, what other people have done and what’s the best balance of weights versus running, versus strength running and the rest of it. So there is a good balance to be held and you’re not gonna have, like no matter how long you have been in there, there’s either gonna to be older ideas or newer ideas that are there to increase your athletes abilities.