Experts in Sport – Testing Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick

In this episode of the “Experts in Sport” podcast, host Stuart McErlain-Naylor sits down with Dr Neal Smith, reader in Biomechanics at Chichester University, to discuss his research on football kicking, as well as his experience testing elite athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

He shares his knowledge on what makes a good technique when it comes to striking the ball, diving into his experience of testing Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick and how it separates him from other athletes.

Loughborough alumnus Dr Smith also details how he communicates findings and tackles unexpected results, as well as how this research can be translated into improvement in performance for everyday athletes.

To listen to the latest episode, visit our Experts in Sport webpage.

Neal Smith graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 1993, having studied Sport and Exercise Science, before completing a Masters in Ergonomics at Loughborough University in 1994. Finally, in 1999, he achieved a PhD in Sport Biomechanics at Southampton University, exploring ‘Biomechanical analysis of non-linear motion in soccer’.

His current research direction examines the biomechanics of non-linear motion in sports, with a significant interest in racket sports and kicking actions. He is also active in providing sports science support work to athletes from a variety of different sports, including Elite Divers and Cricket bowlers.

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The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.