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Optimising Sport Performance

The Optimising Sports Performance (OSP) group conducts research aiming to improve our understanding of how humans adapt and respond to exercise, and we can design and implement interventions to maximise sports performance and optimise the stress-recovery-adaptation process.

The OSP group is multidisciplinary in nature, comprising experts in physiology, biomechanics, psychology, nutrition, psychology, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, performance analysis, and related disciplines. We primarily study athletic populations, but our research has  implications for human performance across the spectrum from elite athletes and para-athlete competing at the highest levels, to the average gym-goer aiming to optimise their health and ability to function.

The OSP group has a proven record of high-quality research, and even higher quality impact. We have established relationships with elite sporting partners, including the UK Sports institute, British Cycling, British Sailing, British Gymnastics, The FA, Washington Spirt FC, Newcastle United FC, Sunderland AFC, and Queens Park Rangers FC; all of which have resulted in tangible, ongoing impact on sport performance and practice.

Academic Team

PGRs / Thesis Title / Submission Year

  • Leila Benyahia / Competing with the boys: the physical, technical, and tactical demands of mixed- and same-sex football / 2027
  • Amanda Gordon / Deceleration characteristics and demands of elite women’s football / 2027
  • Casey Greenwalt / Menstrual cycle symptom tracking and mitigation in elite women’s football / 2027
  • Owen Munro / Characterising sleep and it’s impact on elite female athletic performance / 2027
  • Elisa Pastorio / The female cyclist - sex differences and the effect of the menstrual cycle on cycling performance, physiology, and biomechanics / 2027
  • Thomas Keeney / Monitoring and intervention strategies to optimise performance and health in professional women’s football / 2027
  • Ciaran Deely / The physiological demands, seasonal variation, and recovery of neuromuscular function in elite youth soccer players / 2024
  • Garry Hall / What effect does fatigue during high-intensity running have on Hip abductors and running gait? Can resistance training offset these effects? / 2026
  • Luke Gray / Optimising the Therapeutic Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Exercise within UK Defence Rehabilitation Practice / 2026
  • Rachel Mason / Objective Running Gait Measurement with Wearable Sensors for Sports Medicine and Performance Analysis / 2024

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