Last month PESS postgraduate researcher Niall Kelly was part of a series of documentaries aired on Sky Sports. In ‘Mind Games’, Sky investigates what it means to be mentally tough in sport through the prism of cricket. During the series, they explore the routines today’s players use to prepare themselves for the challenges that the modern game presents.
Niall is involved in the 4th episode (video extract attached above) which takes a look into the future to find how cutting-edge technology is helping to shape the athletes of tomorrow. Sky visited Queen’s University Belfast to try out their virtual-reality cricket-batting task, which transfers budding sportsmen to top sporting venues, such as Lord’s cricket ground. The research team have transferred ball flight information and movements from international cricket bowlers, which batsmen can then face and practice against in the virtual environment.
Niall has been collaborating with Queens University on the project for the last two years. The cricket task has clear practical value in the sport industry, but also offers a controlled environment in which to conduct novel research. Through developing a collaboration with Cricket Ireland, Niall is using the virtual reality task in Queens to explore the effect of pressure on performance with Ireland’s elite cricketers.
Here is a full link to the whole series on Sky’s website :
Niall Kelly is a Postgraduate Researcher studying for a PhD in Sport Psychology in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick. Niall’s current interests include attention, performance anxiety, and coping strategies relating to performance. You can contact Niall via email at Niall.L.Kelly@ul.ie or Follow Niall on Twitter