Nick B Ball

Nick B Ball
University of Canberra · Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science

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75
Publications
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Publications

Publications (75)
Article
The aim of this study was to identify game day preparation strategies used by performance staff to improve team sport performance and to determine consensus regarding the application and importance of these strategies. Twenty-five performance staff working in high performance or professional team sports participated in this Delphi study, which impl...
Article
Relative metrics (i.e. distance covered per minute of match time) are regularly used to quantify soccer player movement demands. However, limited literature is available concerning the peak player demands during training. This study aimed to compare the relative and peak demands of conditioning-focused various-sided training games (VSG) to competit...
Article
Background Landing-based measures of the knee are often used to assess risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and inform prevention strategies. There is less understanding of the ankle’s influence on knee measures during landing. Objective 1. Examine interactions of dynamic ankle measures alongside various subject and task characteristics...
Article
Objectives To compare two modes (general and cricket-specific) of morning priming exercise on afternoon physical and cognitive performance, and subjective readiness to perform in professional male cricketers. Design Randomised, crossover, counterbalanced. Methods On three occasions, 16 professional men’s cricketers completed afternoon tests of co...
Article
Despite female soldiers representing a growing user population, military body armour systems are currently better suited to the anthropometric dimensions of male soldiers. The aim of this study was to explore issues that female soldiers experience with current Australian Defence Force (ADF)-issue body armour. Following a sequential exploratory desi...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of competition standard and player position on the physical demands of Australian elite youth male soccer players during match-play. Twenty-three elite youth male soccer players from the same Australian U17 National Centre of Excellence program were observed across 8 National Youth League (...
Article
The magnitude of loading artistic gymnasts experience during training is currently unknown. Inertial measurement units (IMUs) could assess loading, although the reliability of these devices must be established prior to implementation into the training environment. This study aimed to determine inter-trial reliability of using IMeasureU Blue Thunder...
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Background The use of exercise as a priming strategy to enhance sport performance is becoming increasingly popular in professional sports and as an area of research interest. Early research suggests that the acute physiological responses to exercise can positively influence performance for up to 48 h. There is yet to be a comprehensive review of ex...
Article
Everett, KLA, Chapman, DW, Mitchell, JA, and Ball, N. Changes in loaded countermovement jumps during precompetition and competition training mesocycles in elite rowers. J Strength Cond Res 36(9): 2622-2627, 2022-To assess changes in velocity, displacement, and power as an indicator of neuromuscular fatigue (NMF) within and between precompetition an...
Article
Everett, KLA, Chapman, DW, Mitchell, JA, and Ball, N. Effects of westbound trans-meridian travel on countermovement jump performance in international-level rowers. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2020-International long-haul air travel is a necessity for many athletes as part of their training or competition schedules. However, long-haul travel...
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The aims of this study were firstly to compare the similarity in upper-body muscle activation between the bench press and push-up at similar loads, and secondly to establish a 1-RM prediction equation between the two exercises based upon the load-velocity relationship. Twenty resistance-trained male athletes (age 22.5 ± 5.24 years, body mass 83.7 ±...
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptual, heart rate and technical-tactical characteristics of elite male and female 3 × 3 basketball games. Eleven male and twenty-two female elite basketball players were monitored using heart rate telemetry, Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and video analysis across three 3 × 3 basketball tournam...
Article
Low-pass filters are ideal when filtering human movements, however the effectiveness of such filters relies on the correct selection of the cut-off frequency. The aim of this study was to determine the most appropriate filter cut-off for acceleration- and force-time data when measuring peak resultant acceleration (PRA) and ground reaction force (PR...
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Evaluating countermeasures designed to reduce the impact of microgravity exposure on astronaut performance requires the development of effective methods of assessing changes to sensorimotor function in 1g analog systems. In this study, somatosensation at the ankle and fingers, lower leg muscle activity and visuomotor control were assessed using a f...
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Background: The aim of this study was to compare the validity and reliability of a PUSH band device with a linear encoder to measure movement velocity with different loads during the push-up and bench press exercises. Methods: Twenty resistance-trained athletes performed push-up and bench press exercises with four different loads: without weight...
Conference Paper
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Uneven asymmetrical landings in artistic gymnastics is considered a risk factor for injury. The aim of this research was to investigate if gymnasts experience asymmetrical upper and lower limb loading when performing foundation gymnastics skills on floor. Sixteen competitive level gymnasts (male= 8, female= 8) performed seven different gymnastics s...
Article
This investigation sought to quantify the level of measurement agreement in system force, velocity and power values derived across three commonly applied assessment techniques during a countermovement jump (CMJ). Twenty-five male national representative athletes completed three CMJs under unloaded (0%1RM) and loaded (40%1RM) jump conditions. Associ...
Article
The primary purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of 3 methods estimating energy expenditure (EE) during and in response to resistance exercise. Ten males (aged 29.4 ± 10.2 years) with ≥2 months resistance training (RT) experience performed 3 training sessions incorporating the bench press and back-squat; sessions were separated by 48...
Article
We investigated the variability of strength trained athletes' self-selected rest periods between sets of heavy squat training. Sixteen strength-trained male athletes (Mage = 23, SD = 3 years) completed two squat training sessions 48 hours apart. Each training session consisted of five sets of 5RM squats, interspersed with self-selected interset res...
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Purpose: To assess pacing strategies using prescribed and self-selected inter-set rest periods and their influence on performance in strength trained athletes. Methods: Sixteen strength-trained male athletes completed three randomised heavy-strength training sessions (five sets, five repetitions) with different inter-set rest periods. The inter-...
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Background Artistic gymnastics is reported to have some of the highest injury rates in sports, which limits participation and often involves considerable medical expenses. Purpose To critically appraise the epidemiological literature on injury patterns and risk factors in competitive artistic gymnastics. Study design Systematic review. Methods S...
Article
Purpose: To establish the influence of athlete-dependent characteristics on the generation and timing of system and individual joint powers during a countermovement jump (CMJ). Methods: Male national representative athletes from Volleyball ([VB] n=7), Basketball ([BB], n=6) and Rugby Union ([RU] n=7) performed a set of three CMJ's at relative ba...
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The investigation sought to describe the current practices for monitoring and maximising mechanical power (F • v) in the discipline of strength and conditioning. Thirty professional Strength and Conditioning coaches working within a national institute network agreed to complete a short online survey. Questions were posed in the areas of exercise an...
Article
This study aimed to investigate if hip, knee and ankle peak power is influenced by the relative load lifted, altering the joint and system load-power relationship during a countermovement jump (CMJ). Twenty-Three male national representative athletes (age: 20.3 ± 3.1y, squat 1RM: 133.8 ± 24.8kg) completed three CMJs at relative barbell loads of 0,...
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The purpose of this study was to quantify changes in jump performance and variability in elite female basketballers. Junior and senior female representative basketball players (n = 10) aged 18 ± 2 years participated in this study. Countermovement jump (CMJ) data was collected with a Gymaware™ optical encoder at pre-, mid-, and post-season time poin...
Article
Firefighters incur high incidences of lower back and body injuries. Firefighting boots, with specific design requirements, have been shown to reduce ankle range of motion. This reduction has been associated with impaired force dissipation and lower body kinematic alterations. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the relationship between fir...
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BACKGROUND: Firefighting is a physically demanding occupation where workers are exposed to a significantly increased risk of injuries. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this narrative review was to examine the literature surrounding protective firefighting boots and their relationship to lower body and lumbar biomechanics and potential injury. METHODS: An...
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Objectives This study compared the short term (24 month) clinical outcomes in a prospective, comparative case series of participant selected hamstring autograft and synthetic (LARS) ACL reconstructions. Methods 64 ACL reconstructed participants (32 hamstring,32 LARS), completed a “goal-oriented” rehabilitation protocol. They were assessed for join...
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Background Additional high-quality prospective studies are needed to better define the objective criteria used in relation to return-to-sport decisions after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in active populations. Purpose To investigate prospectively the relationship between functional performance test results at 24 weeks postoperat...
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Background: Additional high-quality prospective studies are needed to better define the objective criteria used in relation to return-to-sport decisions after synthetic (ligament advanced reinforcement system [LARS]) and autograft (hamstring tendon [2ST/2GR]) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in active populations. Purpose: To pros...
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Background Novel research surrounding anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is necessary because ACL injury rates have remained unchanged for several decades. An area of ACL risk mitigation which has not been well researched relates to vertical stiffness. The relationship between increased vertical stiffness and increased ground reaction force su...
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'Priming' or pre-activation strategies performed in the hours leading into competition have been suggested to improve game day performance. Therefore, this study assessed the effectiveness of a resistance training priming activity on eliciting changes in lower- and upper-body power output, along with perceptual measures. To assess these changes, 13...
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The aim of this study was to determine the validity of an accelerometer to measure average acceleration values during high speed running. Thirteen subjects performed three sprint efforts over a 40 m distance (n = 39). Acceleration was measured using a 100 Hz tri-axial accelerometer integrated within a wearable tracking device (SPI-HPU, GPSports, Ca...
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Background Many injury prevention and rehabilitation programs aim to train hamstring and quadriceps co-activation to constrain excessive anterior tibial translation and protect the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) from injury. However, despite strong clinical belief in its efficacy, primary evidence supporting training co-activation of the hamstrin...
Conference Paper
Introduction: A number of field and lab based tests are currently in research and fitness training to assess agility. These tests are used as performance measures and diagnostic assessment tools. Researchers and clinicians have used varying combinations of double leg (DL) and single leg (SL) agility hopping tests for theses assessments; to establis...
Conference Paper
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Introduction: Researchers and clinicians have used varying combinations of both field and lab based agility tests as performance and clinical measures. These tests look to replicate agility movements seen in sporting activities. However, limitations exist in the test methodology, scoring criteria and in the tests’ ability to distinguish between hig...
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We describe the time course of adaptation to structured resistance training upon entering a full time high performance sport program. Twelve international calibre female netballers (aged 19.9+/-0.4 y) were monitored for 18 weeks with countermovement (CMJ: performed with bodyweight and 15kg) and drop jumps (DJ: 0.35m box at bodyweight) at the start...
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Lower limb dominance (or lateral preference) could potentially effect functional performance. Clinicians are often asked to make judgements as to when a patient has sufficiently "recovered" from an injury, typically using strength and dynamic performance outcome measures. The primary purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature...
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The relationship between inappropriate breast support and upper-extremity kinematics for female runners is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of breast support and breast pain on upper-extremity kinematics during running. Eleven female recreational runners with larger breasts (UK D and E cup) completed a 7 min 20 s tre...
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To investigate the variation in training demands, physical performance and player wellbeing across a female soccer season. Seventeen elite female players wore GPS tracking devices during every training session (n = 90) throughout one national league season. Intermittent high-speed running capacity, 5, 15 and 25m sprint testing were conducted at the...
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Abstract Purpose/Background: The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new method for assessing movement ability and present results for intra- and inter-rater reliability. Movement ability is an often-overlooked component of sports science and sports medicine research and needs to be considered alongside the appraisal of physical fitness and per...
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Mental fatigue can negatively impact on submaximal endurance exercise and has been attributed to changes in perceived exertion rather than changes in physiological variables. The impact of mental fatigue on maximal anaerobic performance is, however, unclear. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to induce a state of mental fatigue to examine...
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IntroductionDynamic movements require synergistic involvement of numerous muscles, whereby different muscular and task demands could alter the ratio of this synergistic activation.Methods Participants completed isometric, isotonic, isokinetic, and squat jump (SJ) tasks. Mean RMS EMG was collected from the medial and lateral gastrocnemius (MG, LG) a...
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to establish if vertical stiffness was greater in professional Australian rules footballers who sustained a lower limb skeletal muscle strain compared to those who did not, and to establish if a relationship between age, or training history, and vertical stiffness existed. Thirty-one participants underwent wee...
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Resistive or drag forces encountered during free swimming greatly influence the swim performance of elite competitive swimmers. The benefits in understanding the factors which affect the drag encountered will enhance performance within the sport. However, the current techniques used to experimentally measure or estimate drag values are questioned f...
Conference Paper
Introduction The purpose of this study was t o determine front crawl stroke phases within force-time profiles and perform a comparison on elite and sub-elite male sprint swimmers. Stroke phases were identified as entry and catch, pull, push and, exit and recovery. A secondary aim of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference...
Article
To examine the validity and reliability of the SenseWear Armband Mini and BodyMedia FIT in comparison to the Cosmed K4b(2) portable for assessing energy expenditure during resistance training. Lab based validation and reliability study. Eleven males and 7 females (age=22.7±4.5 years) completed two resistance-training sessions. Total energy expendit...
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The purpose of this study was to report the current practices and application of long term athlete development theory within elite athlete pathways. Sixty-five strength and conditioning coaches, sport scientists and other professionals participated by completing an electronic survey. The survey elicited information about awareness, understanding an...
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Electromyograms (EMG) used to assess neuromuscular demand during high velocity tasks require normalization to aid interpretation. This paper posits that to date methodological approaches to normalization has been ineffective and has limited the application of electromyography. There is minimal investigation seeking alternative normalization methods...
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Abstract The 'stiffness' concept originates from Hooke's law which states that the force required to deform an object is related to a spring constant and the distance that object is deformed. Research into stiffness in the human body is undergoing unprecedented popularity; possibly because stiffness has been associated with sporting performance and...
Conference Paper
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The purpose of this research was to test the intra-reliability of the assisted towing method (ATM) approach at a constant velocity when estimating for active drag. Seven national level front crawl swimmers completed three trials of maximal free swimming and five active drag trials. The computed active drag values were analysed using within-subject...
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between reactive strength in a vertical and a horizontal drop jump (DJ). Subjects (n = 28) with previous jump training experience, performed 6 vertical DJs and 6 horizontal DJs from a 0.4-m box. Contact time, height jumped, distance jumped, and reactive strength index (RSI) were calculated a...
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This study examined whether anthropometric and physiological performance measures differentiate between Olympic selected and non-selected athletes. Height, body mass, skinfold thickness, strength (squat, bench press and bench pull), power (counter-movement jump, single leg counter-movement jump and 20 m sprint) and aerobic performance (shuttle test...
Conference Paper
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INTRODUCTION: Motion capture of the rowing stroke using accurate 3D opto-reflective systems has been limited by the constraints of the surrounding hydrodynamic environment. As a consequence 2D lower-extremity kinematic models have been used in an attempt to counter these logistical issues (Lamb, 1989). Despite this, there is limited research suppor...
Conference Paper
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John Warmenhoven. The effect of camera pan on the two-dimensional direct linear transformation and scalar reconstruction techniques when applied to ergometer rowing. (138) Changes in camera pan may affect reconstruction accuracy of two-dimensional (2D) kinematic data collected in on-water rowing testing. The 2D direct linear transformation (2D-DLT)...
Article
Serpell, BG, Scarvell, JM, Ball, NB, and Smith, PN. Mechanisms and risk factors for noncontact ACL injury in age mature athletes who engage in field or court sports: A summary of literature since 1980. J Strength Cond Res 26(11): 3160-3176, 2012-Epidemiological data show that in the last 10 years alone the incidence and rate of anterior cruciate li...
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The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of electromyography (EMG) normalization methods for a high-speed 20-m sprint. Comparisons were based on intra-individual reliability and magnitude of normalized EMG signals from three repeat sessions separated by 1 day (between days) and 1 week (between weeks) from the initial test. Surface EMGs were...
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Minimal evidence supports the claim that core stability training transfers into improved performance and the most effective training method to perform core exercises is still unknown. The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of a 6 week unstable static versus unstable dynamic core training program, on field based fitness tests. A static...
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Physiological, anthropometric, and power profiling data were retrospectively analyzed from 4 elite taekwondo athletes from the Australian National Olympic team 9 weeks from Olympic departure. Power profiling data were collected weekly throughout the 9-week period. Anthropometric skinfolds generated a lean mass index (LMI). Physiological tests inclu...
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The purpose of this study was to assess the neuromuscular asymmetry of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius (MG, LG) and soleus (SOL) of the dominant and non-dominant limbs during different muscle actions via electromyography (EMG). Fifteen active male participants completed isometric and isotonic (maximum, submaximum, bodyweight), isokinetic (1.05...
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Six competitive soccer players were recruited to examine EMG activation in three quadriceps muscles during a kicking accuracy task. Participants performed three maximum instep place kicks of a stationary ball, 11 m perpendicular from the centre of the goal line towards targets (0.75 m(2)) in the four corners of the goal. Surface EMG of the vastus l...
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Previous research suggests that socks may have the potential for injury protection through the absorption and/or redistribution of impact forces. However, there is limited research regarding the shock attenuation qualities of athletic socks in sporting populations and previously observed pressure reductions have not been quantified using a force pl...
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Drop jumping (DJ) is used in training programs aimed to improve lower extremity explosive power. When performing double-leg drop jumps, it is important to provide an equal stimulus to both legs to ensure balanced development of the lower legs. The aim of this study was to bilaterally analyze the ground reactions forces and temporal components of dr...
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The objective of this study was twofold: first to assess the effect of fatigue on two muscle strength ratios: the conventional ratio-H(con)/Q(con) and dynamic control ratio(DCR)-H(ecc)/Q(con) and second to assess the coactivation of hamstrings and quadriceps during isokinetic knee flexion/extension. Eight recreational football players (mean +/- SD...
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The purpose of this article is to compare the bilateral neuromuscular and force contribution during a plyometric bounce drop jump task and to assess the affects of nonsimultaneous foot placement. Sixteen male participants performed bounce drop jumps from a height of 0.4 m. Mean peak electromyography activity of the soleus, medial, and lateral gastr...
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Prior to implementing a normalisation method, the standardisation and reliability of the method needs to be examined. This investigation aimed to assess the reliability of EMG amplitudes and test outputs from proposed normalisation methods for the triceps surae. Sixteen participants completed isometric (maximum and sub-maximum); isokinetic (1.05rad...

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