Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies

First Advisor

Dr Edward K. Coughlan

Second Advisor

Dr Cian O'Neill


Weighted implement training (WIT) involves performance of sport-specific motor skills with heavier-than-normal sporting implements. Typically, full range of motion (ROM) and similar kinematic characteristics of the respective motor skill are maintained concurrent to minimal changes in the force-velocity movement profile. While the majority of WIT research has been conducted in baseball, track and field, and cricket, there is a paucity of research conducted in the football codes, particularly Gaelic football. Existing observations of increased standard implement velocity and distance following the use of weighted implements infers potential benefits for Gaelic football performance, such as increasing kick-out ball velocity (BV) and distance, which can support ball retention downfield. The aim of this research was to investigate the acute and chronic effects of weighted Gaelic football training on markers of place kicking performance. A 600g (25% mass increase) weighted Gaelic football was used in four experiments, whereby this research investigated the effects of weighted football training on (i) kicking leg kinematic and ROM behaviours following a brief intervention, (ii) immediate place kick distance and BV following a weighted football warm up protocol, and (iii) intercounty goalkeepers’ BV following completion of a 4-week, 8-session intervention. Results showed that although kinematic and ROM behaviours were not altered, there were, albeit statistically insignificant, acute nominal improvements in kick distance and BV following the use of the weighted football which may positively impact ball retention further into opposition territory. The repeated use of weighted footballs also increased inter-county goalkeepers’ BV measures. The findings of this thesis suggest that weighted football training can be an effective means of acutely and chronically increasing BV and kick distance. Therefore, practitioners can utilise the provided weighted football warm up protocols and training programmes that enhance kick-out performance, which may ultimately support ball retention and the creation of scoring opportunities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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