Study aims to improve footy players' on-field choices

A Victoria University researcher is seeking participants for a study aimed at helping football players make better strategic decisions in the exhausting final moments of play.

Dr Nigel Stepto of VU's School of Sport and Exercise Science, is looking for healthy amateur and elite Australian Rules footy players aged 18 to 35 years, to research whether protein drinks taken a few hours before a game can affect prolonged good decision-making.

His study will be the first of its kind to examine whether amino acids found in sports drinks will delay and combat the mental fatigue that may cause poor ball disposal skills and on-field decision-making.

"It is important to understand the physiological basis of this kind of fatigue, so that strategies for prolonging optimal performance periods in elite athletes can be developed," he said.

He said while muscle fatigue in athletes was well understood, there were few studies that examined mental fatigue in the central nervous system related to high levels of serotonin in the brain.

Participants need to be available for testing at VU's Footscray Park Campus for about two hours a week for five weeks. Procedures will include shuttle runs, skill and performance tests, and questionnaires.



Dr Nigel Stepto, Lecturer,

School of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 5416 or [email protected]

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