High Performance Practitioner Interview: Dr. David Opar

The latest instalment of our High Performance Practitioner interview series sees Chris Barnes speak to Dr. David Opar, senior lecturer at Australian Catholic University’s School of Exercise Science, and researcher in the ACU hamstring injury group.

As an expert in hamstring injury research, David consults with professional sports teams and federations around the world to deliver evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies for their athletes.

During the interview, David and Chris discussed a number of subjects related to injuries and the reduction of injury risk, including:

  • David’s professional background (00:12)
  • The prevalence of hamstring injuries in Australian Rules Football (01:36)
  • How are AFL teams are taking steps to mitigate injury risk? (02:55)
  • What is being done to encourage athletes to engage in eccentric exercises? (04:47)
  • Has David seen a difference in attitudes to suggestions made by external consultants rather than in-house sports scientists? (07:10)
  • What are the key indicators of eccentric strength? (09:46)
  • Are there different appetites for taking on eccentric exercise in different areas of the world? (13:22)
  • How do we translate research findings into the specific contexts of individual athletes? (16:20)
  • The importance of the idea of minimum effective dose in eccentric exercise (19:00)
  • Communicating with decision-makers in sport to illustrate the impact of injuries (24:10)
  • What is the future of hamstring injury research? (27:40)
  • The importance of staying focused on practical applications for research (30:10)

Interested in seeing more HPP interviews? You can find them all on the Catapult YouTube channel.

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