A constraints-led approach to informing team sport training design

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Teune, Ben ORCID: 0000-0003-4437-535X (2022) A constraints-led approach to informing team sport training design. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The design of practice environments supportive of learning and performance is a contemporary challenge for practitioners in high performance sport. To address such a challenge, the coupling of contemporary pedagogical frameworks, such as the constraints-led approach, with the practical implementation of tools from sports analytics may be beneficial. This thesis explored the measurement and analysis of key task, environmental and individual constraints to guide practice design in professional Australian Football. Across five studies, various analytical techniques were used to evaluate different constraints and their interactions, and determine their effect on athlete and team behaviour. Spatiotemporal player tracking data was first analysed to determine a novel, continuous measure for the constraint of pressure and its influence on performance. Rule association and regression trees were applied to evaluate the influence of environmental, task and individual constraint interactions on athlete skilled behaviour. Univariate and multivariate change point analyses were applied to inform the duration of training activities to support skill learning. Rule association and classification trees were used to evaluate the influence of a numerical constraint manipulation on interacting technical, tactical, and physical team behaviours. Collectively, the findings from these studies not only assist practitioners in the design of practice tasks but show how constraint manipulations may challenge or promote various behaviours in team sports athletes. Moreover, this thesis demonstrates the utility of multivariate analytical techniques in the exploration of constraints interaction in sport. The suitability of such techniques for the measurement of complex and non-linear interactions between athletes, the task and environment, was highlighted. Practitioners can integrate and adapt these analytical tools, in conjunction with the constraints-led approach, to inform the design of practice tasks that facilitate learning and development in high performance sport.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/44767
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords thesis by publication, Australian Football, team behaviour, player behaviour, multivariate data analysis, training design, regression tree analysis, skill acquisition, training environments, performance
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