Strength and Speed Adaptations in Female Team Sport Athletes

Team-sports, such as soccer, rugby and GAA, require a unique blend of physical characteristics for performance.  Due to this, there has been a substantial growth of sport science research over the last decade investigating the effect of specific training interventions (i.e. strength, speed, endurance) on improving performance. Sprinting ability, such as acceleration and maximum-velocity, is required for success in specific scenarios in team-sports (i.e. evasive play).  Additionally, sprinting ability can often differentiate between performance level of team-sports (i.e. elite vs. non-elite players).  Research has found that non-specific training methods, such as strength training, can be as beneficial as specific sprint training in improving acceleration performance.  However, there has been a dearth of research in female athletes.    Therefore, the aim of this project is to evaluate the role of strength on speed adaptations (i.e. acceleration, maximum-velocity & ‘game’ speed) in elite female team-sport athletes, specifically Ladies Gaelic Football players.  The findings from this innovative project will provide key stakeholders (e.g. Ladies Gaelic Football Association, Sport Ireland) with evidence-based research and best practice on strength and speed development within elite female team sports.

William Hughes

William holds a MSc in Strength & Conditioning, graduating from Limerick Institute of Technology in 2015.  William is also a practising Strength and Conditioning coach, working within Athletics, GAA and Rugby Union.  Supervisors: Dr Kris Beattie, Dr Robin Healy, Dr Mark Lyons, Dr Clem Higginbotham, Dr Aoife Lane.