Sports Medicine and Movement Lab – Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D.
The Sports Medicine and Movement Lab studies sport biomechanics and provides evidence-based injury prevention protocols. Director Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D., FACSM, ATC, and her doctoral students specialize in kinematics, motion analysis, functional assessment, and injury prevention.
Gretchen Oliver’s research focuses on injury prevention in youth, collegiate, and professional athletes, and provides strengthening, stretching, and performance feedback to participants who may be at increased risk of injury.
Partners and Analyses
Caleb Chisum is a 7th grade honors student at Opelika Middle School. He chose to utilize his participation in research at the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab in the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University as a topic for his Science Fair Project.
In February, Caleb presented his project, “Which Pitching Mechanics are Best for Baseball Pitchers?,” at the Opelika Middle School Science Fair in the Medicine and Health Category. Caleb visited the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab on three different occasions and used the analytics from his data for his project. He investigated the best mechanics and techniques for his body to best manage the physical demands of baseball, and then reported the findings.
Collegiate & Professional Softball
The Lab has worked with the Auburn University Softball team since 2014. They assess pitching, hitting, and throwing, and help improve performance. The Lab has also analyzed the pitching of USA Softball, USSSA Pride, a professional softball team in Florida, and All-American softball pitcher and ESPN analyst, Amanda Scarborough.
The SEC Network provides an inside look at how the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab is improving pitching mechanics.
Pain History and Pitching Mechanics
From Spring 2016-2017 we collected data on over 90 collegiate softball pitchers on pain history and pitching mechanics. Data included 17 NCAA softball teams representing 9 conferences, with three of the teams ranking in the NCAA top 20 for consecutive years. During 2017, many were ranked in the NCAA top 20, and additionally:
- three were in the top 10 of NCAA most victorious pitchers
- two were ranked in the NCAA top 20 for hits allowed
- three were ranked in the NCAA top 20 for strikeouts per seven innings
US Polo Association
The Sports Medicine and Movement Lab conducted a study with the U.S. Polo Association analyzing about 20 men and women polo players. The lab is also working with the U.S. Polo Association Player Development program to provide evidence-based exercises to improve player development.
Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D., FACSM, ATC, traveled to Sheridan, WY in the summer of 2017 to work with USPA Player Development. USPA is beginning to implement pre-riding programs, developed by Oliver, for their youth athletes. Additionally, work is being done on the effects of the pre-riding programs and their swing mechanics and riding posture.
Videos explaining In-Depth Swing Fundamentals:
This is Research 2016
Doctoral student in the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab, Sarah Gascon, had her work featured in the Creative Scholarship Showcase. The works were on display at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art from September 17 through October 2, 2016. The event included faculty and student works in the fields of fine art, performing arts, creative writing, applied design, and more. Sarah and graduate student, Dawn Michaelson in Apparel Design, created a women’s athletic compression top that is both biomechanical and functional. The prototype combines compression, wicking, and comfort to enhance performance.