Academics shoot for win bonus

March 14, 2003

The sports science department at Portsmouth University is in line for a £10,000 bonus if the city's football team is promoted to the Premiership, writes Alan Thomson.

The department was contracted to Portsmouth FC at the start of this season to provide up-to-date training, dietary and psychological knowledge. The team is now top of the Nationwide division one, having finished 17th last season.

Research associate Jonathan Dalzell, whose PhD thesis is on temperature regulation during exercise, provides the training and dietary programmes, while senior lecturer Richard Thelwell applies the latest sports psychology research to keep the team in a winning frame of mind.

Players train attached to elastic cords and parachutes to increase drag and boost work rates. Mr Dalzell said the techniques increased speed and stamina. "I think that this has been shown in that Portsmouth is very much a second-half side, when they have a tendency to destroy opponents."

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