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Associate Professor Sam Robertson

BexSci (Deakin), MSc (ECU), PhD (ECU)

Victoria University-Western Bulldogs Head of Research & Innovation

Sam currently holds a joint appointment as the Victoria University-Western Bulldogs Head of Research & Innovation.

He oversees the sports science partnership between the University and Western Bulldogs. Sam also supervises co-appointed staff, PhD and Honours students, as well as implementing innovative performance strategies at the club. 

Prior to arriving at the university, Sam worked as a sport scientist in various institute roles in both Australia and the United Kingdom. He returned to Australia to undertake multiple applied roles in Australian football and golf.

He completed his PhD at Edith Cowan University in skill acquisition & talent identification as part of his role in Research and Innovation with the Golf Australia High Performance program. Prior to commencing at VU, Sam also held an ongoing position as the Lecturer in Biomechanics at Deakin University.

Due to his multidisciplinary applied background, Sam maintains a variety of research interests related to improving sporting performance. These interests predominantly cover Performance Analytics & Technology / Talent Selection, Development & Coaching Practice themes in Australian football and golf. 

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Associate Professor Robertson has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles.

Recent publications of note include:

Robertson, S., & Joyce, D. (2018). Evaluating strategic periodisation in team sport. Journal of Sports Sciences36(3), 279-285.

Farrow, D., & Robertson, S. (2017). Development of a skill acquisition periodisation framework for high-performance sport. Sports Medicine47(6), 1043-1054.

Robertson, S., Bartlett, J. D., & Gastin, P. B. (2017). Red, Amber, or Green? Athlete monitoring in team sport: the need for decision-support systems. International Journal of sports Physiology and Performance12(Suppl 2), S2-73.

Bartlett, J. D., O’Connor, F., Pitchford, N., Torres-Ronda, L., & Robertson, S. J. (2017). Relationships between internal and external training load in team-sport athletes: evidence for an individualized approach. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(2), 230-234.

Robertson, S., Kremer, P., Aisbett, B., Tran, J., & Cerin, E. (2017). Consensus on measurement properties and feasibility of performance tests for the exercise and sport sciences: a Delphi study. Sports Medicine-Open, 3(1), 2.

Refereed chapters

Robertson, S. Skill testing in golf. Routledge International Handbook of Golf Science

Robertson, S. & Farrow, D. Designing optimal golf practice environments. Routledge International Handbook of Golf Science

View Sam’s full publication list in Victoria University’s Institutional Repository

Research grants

  • FIFA EPTS, Aughey, R., Ball, K., Serpiello, F., Duthie, G., Robertson, S & Varley, M. 2016
  • ‘Development of an automated movement classification system for external load monitoring in racket/club sports’ Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) High Performance Sports Research Fund, 2015. Reid, M., Robertson, S., & Whiteside, D.
  • ‘Benchmarking Talent Development in the AFL System’, Australian Football League Research Board grant, 2015. Farrow, D., Marchant, D., Ball, K., Berry, J., Robertson, S., Veale, J.
  • Victoria University Industry Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program, Modelling Decision-Making in Complex Systems: Using statistics to explain what humans can’t! Robertson, S. & Farrow, D. 2016
  • ‘An expert consensus on measurement properties and standards of physical performance tests in the exercise and sports sciences’, Faculty of Health Research Development Grant, Deakin University, 2014.

Postgraduate research students & fellows

  • 2 post-doctoral research fellows (Champion Data and Tennis Australia)
  • 12 PhD students
  • 4 Honours students (all at Western Bulldogs).

Areas of expertise

  • Machine learning in sport
  • Improving decision-making using sports analytics
  • Measurement theory in sport
  • Performance analysis
  • Skill acquisition and biomechanics

Contact details

+61 3 9919 4204