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13th April 2012, 9:48am
Sport science professor's lecture to examine why practice might not make perfect
Researchers study the biomechanics of a golf swing An academic whose research examines the science behind human movement will consider whether practice really does make perfect in sport.

Professor David Mullineaux, from the School of Sport, Coaching and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln, will discuss some of the unexpected effects 'variability' can have on athletes' performance during a free public lecture.

The talk, part of the University's Lincoln Academy series of free cultural events, takes place on Tuesday 17th April in the EMMTEC building on the main Brayford Pool campus. The lecture starts at 6pm and admission is free for pre-registered guests.

Professor Mullineaux's research background is in biomechanics, specifically kinesiology the scientific study of how the human body moves. He joined the University of Lincoln in 2011 from the University of Kentucky in the USA. He is originally from Cambridgeshire and gained his PhD in statistical research methods in sports science from Sheffield Hallam University.

His inaugural Lincoln Academy lecture is entitled: 'Athletes' variability: does exact practice make perfect?'

Professor Mullineaux said: "When we think of a top tennis player serving for a match, or a Premiership footballer striking a freekick, we tend to assume they're executing a technique fine-tuned through many years of practice. We usually think of variability within that technique as being a bad thing that should be controlled or minimised.

"However, there is a growing body of research which suggests athletes actually benefit from having a degree of variability in the way they execute some techniques. Our scientific understanding of this from mechanical, mathematical and neurological perspectives is evolving.

"In this talk I will outline how this developing field of research could change the way we coach athletes and help them to recover from injury in the future."

Admission to the Lincoln Academy is free but audience members should register in advance by contacting the University's Events Team on phone - 01522 837100, email - or online at

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