Football: A STEM job for the future

STEMfit partner Dr Wheeler is no stranger to sport, on any given weekend you’ll find him out there playing community rugby (well until his young family came along anyway). But what does his day job as a rugby player look like?….well you guessed it, its playing rugby too! (kinda).

17/06/06 bw156994i Rugby union, Stingrays v’s University at Quad Park: Keane Wheeler wins a lineout. Photo: Brett Wortman

So what kind of benefits do sports science bring to playing sport? So in rugby you want to get the ball up the other end of the field without getting tackled. The best players don’t just get past a tackle, they avoid them entirely. Keane’s work helped identify this using video cameras (today we are using our sensors though). This is the job of science and STEM tools, to help our coaches understand through evidence why certain actions are beneficial. So our movements can not only teach us STEM stuff, STEM can teach us all about how to be a better rugby player!!!

For more info take a quick peak into one of his papers and have a look.
Modification of Agility Running Technique in Reaction to a Defender in Rugby Union

(See his other work here)

Changes to running technique occur when required to make a decision.
Fast agility performers use different stepping strategies in reactive conditions.
Decision-making must be incorporated in agility training programs.


Published by Dan

Dan has been working with technology ever since he discovered he had opposable thumbs and likes to write about his consulting work, life and hobbies.

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