Dr Job Fransen

Conjoint Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

Job Fransen is a young academic with a strong background in sports practice. During his PhD candidature and after finishing his PhD on motor competence development in children and adolescents at Ghent University in Belgium early 2014, he was employed as a Strength and Conditioning coach for the Flemish Rugby Union, the Belgian Female Rugby Sevens team and several clubs in field hockey, soccer and rugby in the highest levels of their respective codes. Thanks to his multidisciplinary interest, he has published several A1 papers on talent identification, motor competence development and training and testing within different disciplines from soccer to combat sports.

With regards to teaching, Job Fransen has experience in both the academic and coach education setting. His strong practical background help him to integrate many elements of sports coaching into his teaching.

Research Expertise
I have three main research interests: 1) The measurement, development and retention of motor competence: What is the retention rate of motor competence in adulthood? Can we identify windows for optimal development of motor competence? How does motor competence contribute to talent identification and development? 2) Understand how we can use fundamental motor concepts in field-based settings that are representative for different sports codes: How do we use sensory information when performing sport-specific tasks such as dribbling or catching in different sports disciplines? Do we understand the underlying concepts associated with loss of attention during very sport specific skills? How can we modify existing training programs to optimise skill acquisition 3) Understanding skill/sports expertise with regard to talent identification and development: How do expert performers differ from novice performance in terms of generic motor competence, skill performance, maturation, fitness levels and sports participation profile? 

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ghent University - Belgium
  • Master of Physical Education, Ghent University - Belgium

Keywords

  • Motor Competence
  • Motor Control
  • Motor Development
  • Skill Acquisition
  • Talent Development
  • Talent Identification

Languages

  • Dutch (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified 100

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/1/2010 - 1/1/2014 PhD Candidate Ghent University
Movement and Sports Science
Belgium

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/2/2011 - 1/12/2014 Strength and Conditioning Coach Flemish Rugby Union
Sports Coaching
Belgium
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (45 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Henrique RS, Stodden DF, Fransen J, Feitoza AHP, Alessandro R, Martins CML, et al., 'Is motor competence associated with the risk of central obesity in preschoolers?', American Journal of Human Biology, 32 (2020)

© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Objectives: To investigate the association between motor competence (MC) and central obesity in preschool children. Methods: The sample comprised of... [more]

© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Objectives: To investigate the association between motor competence (MC) and central obesity in preschool children. Methods: The sample comprised of 472 children aged 3 to 5 years (4.58 ± 0.70 years, 248 boys) from Recife, Brazil. MC was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) was calculated and a cutoff of 0.5 was used to define central obesity. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between MC and WHtR = 0.5. Results: The prevalence of central obesity (WHtR) was 54.0% and 46.4% for boys and girls, respectively. Older children (OR = 0.61; CI = 0.44-0.84; P <.01) and those with higher MC in locomotor skills (OR = 0.96; CI = 0.93-0.99; P <.01) were less likely to present WHtR = 0.5. Sex and object control skills were not associated with WHtR = 0.5. Conclusions: To reduce the risks of central obesity in children, health practitioners should focus on increasing competence in locomotor skills since preschool years.

DOI 10.1002/ajhb.23364
2020 Sheehan WB, Tribolet R, Watsford ML, Novak AR, Rennie MJ, Fransen J, 'Using cooperative networks to analyse behaviour in professional Australian Football', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23 291-296 (2020)

© 2019 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives: Reducing the dimensionality of commonly reported complex network characteristics obtained from Australian Football League (AFL) games ... [more]

© 2019 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives: Reducing the dimensionality of commonly reported complex network characteristics obtained from Australian Football League (AFL) games to facilitate their practical use and interpretability. Design: Retrospective longitudinal design where individual players¿ interactions, determined through the distribution and receipt of kicks and handballs, during official AFL games were collected over three seasons. Methods: A principal component analysis was used to reduce the number of characteristics related to the cooperative network analysis. Results: The principal component analysis derived two individual-based principal components pertaining to in- and out-degree importance and three team-based principal components related to connectedness and in- and out-degree centralisation. Conclusions: This study is the first to provide a simplified, novel method for analysing complex network structures in an Australian Football context with both the team- and individual-derived metrics revealing useful information for coaches and practitioners. This may consequently guide opposition analysis, training implementation, player performance ratings and player selection.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.09.012
Citations Scopus - 2
2020 Bennett KJM, Novak AR, Pluss MA, Coutts AJ, Fransen J, 'A multifactorial comparison of Australian youth soccer players performance characteristics', International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 15 17-25 (2020)

© The Author(s) 2019. The current study aimed to investigate the performance characteristics that discriminate Australian youth soccer players according to their academy status. A... [more]

© The Author(s) 2019. The current study aimed to investigate the performance characteristics that discriminate Australian youth soccer players according to their academy status. A total of 165 youth soccer players participated in this study and were sub-divided into either an early adolescence (n = 92, age = 13.0 ± 0.6 years) or mid-adolescence (n = 73 age = 14.8 ± 0.6 years) group. Players completed multifactorial assessments of anthropometry, motor competence, physical fitness, decision-making and psychological traits. Statistical significance was set at p = 0.05. Multivariate analysis of variance identified dynamic balancing ability (both age groups), object manipulation (mid-adolescence), lateral jumping ability (both age groups), linear speed over 5 m (both age groups), change of direction skill (mid-adolescence), intermittent aerobic endurance (mid-adolescence) and total response time on a decision-making assessment (early adolescence) to discriminate academy status. Interestingly, a binomial logistical regression showed that a 0.1 s decrease in sprint time (i.e. running faster) increased the odds of a player belonging to a tier one academy by 19% and 47% for early and mid-adolescent players, respectively. Overall, performance in the motor competence and physical fitness assessments were in favour of the tier one academy players. These findings are indicative of a potential selection bias in the Australian talent pool or a training effect whereby tier one academy programmes emphasise the development of physical attributes. However, future research is required to further substantiate this in a larger sample of youth soccer players from other playing regions within Australia.

DOI 10.1177/1747954119893174
2020 O Brien-Smith J, Bennett KJM, Fransen J, Smith MR, 'Same or different? A comparison of anthropometry, physical fitness and perceptual motor characteristics in male and female youth soccer players', Science and Medicine in Football, 4 37-44 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/24733938.2019.1650197
Co-authors Mitch Smith
2019 Novak AR, Bennett KJM, Pluss MA, Fransen J, Watsford ML, Dascombe BJ, 'Power profiles of competitive and non-competitive mountain bikers.', Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 33 538-543 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1519/jsc.0000000000002003
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Ben Dascombe
2019 Lovell TWJ, Fransen J, Bocking CJ, Coutts AJ, 'Factors affecting sports involvement in a school-based youth cohort: Implications for long-term athletic development', Journal of Sports Sciences, 37 2522-2529 (2019)

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group. The aim of the present study was to determine the factors affecting sports involvement in a school-base... [more]

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The aim of the present study was to determine the factors affecting sports involvement in a school-based adolescent population. The cross-sectional cohort study assessed anthropometry, physical capacities and motor competence in 501 boys (aged 10¿16 y), from junior (10¿12 y) and senior (13¿16 y) cohorts. Sports participation data was collected from junior participants. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed moderate maturity, anthropometry, physical capacity and motor competence differences between sports in the senior cohort (F¿=¿2.616, p <¿0.001, ¿2¿=¿.08), but not in the junior cohort. Furthermore, differences in physical fitness were revealed between playing levels (F¿=¿2.616, p <¿0.001, ¿2¿=¿.08), with a discriminant analysis correctly classifying 73% of participants using aerobic fitness and vertical jump measures. Representative level participants engaged in more structured training and commenced organised competition at a later age (F¿=¿4.332, p <¿0.001, ¿2¿=¿.21). This study¿s findings are twofold: 1) physical and motor competence profiles differ more between sports with increasing age, and 2) participants at a higher level of competition report delayed engagement in their main sport. As a result, schools may be the ideal environment in which to provide children and adolescents with the opportunity to sample different sports.

DOI 10.1080/02640414.2019.1647032
2019 Tribolet R, Watsford ML, Coutts AJ, Smith C, Fransen J, 'From entry to elite: The relative age effect in the Australian football talent pathway', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 741-745 (2019)

© 2018 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives: This study aimed to assess the first instance and prevalence of the Relative Age Effect (RAE) in the male Australian Football (AF) tal... [more]

© 2018 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives: This study aimed to assess the first instance and prevalence of the Relative Age Effect (RAE) in the male Australian Football (AF) talent development pathway through to the Australian Football League (AFL). Design: Retrospective cross-sectional analysis. Methods: Birthdate distribution was accessed from an U10¿U12 AF academy trial (n = 514), U13¿U19 AF academy players (n = 408), AFL state, national and international combines (n = 2989), AFL Rising Star nominees (n = 50) and the top ten AFL Brownlow vote recipients (n = 50) between 2013¿2017. Results: Chi-squared analysis showed significant overrepresentation to early born players in the selection year for both quartile and half-year compared to the previously known distribution at different stages of the talent pathway. Odds ratio demonstrated bias to players born in quartiles one and two of the selection year compared to players born in quartile four in every cohort examined. Conclusions: RAEs appear between ages 10¿12 in the male AF development pathway and continue to senior professional competition. RAEs are amplified as the competition for positions increases and at points where selection cut-offs occur. Interestingly, players receiving votes for the AFL's best and fairest award were 12.6 times more likely to be born in the first half of the year. This may suggest a latent effect, which has long term benefits for relatively older players. Nonetheless, the RAE affects career progression in a male AF talent pathway.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.12.014
Citations Scopus - 7
2019 Lovell R, Fransen J, Ryan R, Massard T, Cross R, Eggers T, Duffield R, 'Biological maturation and match running performance: A national football (soccer) federation perspective', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 1139-1145 (2019)

© 2019 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives: To examine the influence of maturation and its interaction with playing position upon physical match performances in U15 footballers f... [more]

© 2019 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives: To examine the influence of maturation and its interaction with playing position upon physical match performances in U15 footballers from a national federation. Design: Observational study. Methods: 278 male outfield players competing in a national tournament were assessed for somatic maturity and match physical performances according to playing position. Stature, sitting height, and body mass were measured and entered into an algorithm to estimate the age at peak height velocity (APHV). Players match movements were recorded by Global Positioning System devices (10 Hz), to determine peak speed, and total- (TD), low-speed running (LSR; =13.0 km h-1), high-speed running (HSR; 13.1¿16.0 km h-1), very high-speed running (VHSR; 16.1¿20.0 km h-1) and sprint distances (SPR; >20.0 km h-1) expressed relative to match exposure (m min-1). Results: Linear-mixed models using log transformed response variables revealed a significant contribution of estimated APHV upon TD (1.01; 95% CI: 0.99¿1.02 m·min-1; p < 0.001), HSR (1.05; 95% CI: 0.98¿1.13 m min-1; p < 0.001) and VHSR (1.07; 95% CI: 1.00¿1.14 m min-1; p = 0.047). An increase by one year in APHV was associated with an increase of 0.6, 5.4 and 6.9% in TD, HSR and VHSR respectively. No effects of APHV were observed for LSR, SPR, and peak speed. Further, no APHV effects were observed relative to players¿ field position. Conclusions: Later maturing players covered substantially more higher-intensity (HSR and VHSR) running in matches, irrespective of playing position. The greater match intensity of later maturing players may inform talent identification and athletic development processes within a national federation.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.04.007
Citations Scopus - 2
2019 Henderson MJ, Fransen J, McGrath JJ, Harries SK, Poulos N, Coutts AJ, 'Individual factors affecting rugby sevens match performance', International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 14 620-626 (2019)

© 2019 Human Kinetics, Inc. Purpose: To examine the collective independent influence of a range of individual characteristics on physical and technical match performance during in... [more]

© 2019 Human Kinetics, Inc. Purpose: To examine the collective independent influence of a range of individual characteristics on physical and technical match performance during international rugby sevens matches. Methods: Data were collected from 20 international rugby sevens players from 1 team across 1 season. Activity profiles were measured using wearable microtechnology devices, and technical performance measures were collected from match video analysis. Subjective well-being measures were collected using a well-being questionnaire completed on the morning of main training days, and groin-squeeze assessments at 0° and 60° knee flexion were also conducted using a sphygmomanometer. Assessments of aerobic fitness were completed periodically across the season, including time to complete a 2-km run and final velocity during the 30:15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT). A principal-components analysis was conducted to reduce the dimensionality of the physical and technical variables into single-factor values. Linear mixed models were then constructed to examine the collective influence of a range of individual contextual variables on physical and technical performance factors. Results: Increased muscle soreness, stress, and VIFT were associated with trivial to small increases in physical and technical performance values, whereas trivial to small decreases were associated with higher perceived recovery, body weight, and groin squeeze (0° knee flexion). Conclusions: A range of well-being metrics are required to account for a significant portion of the variance in physical and technical performance. These factors may be manipulated by coaches or practitioners to achieve favorable physiological readiness that may lead to improved match performance.

DOI 10.1123/ijspp.2018-0133
Citations Scopus - 1
2019 Bennett N, Woodcock S, Pluss MA, Bennett KJM, Deprez D, Vaeyens R, et al., 'Forecasting the development of explosive leg power in youth soccer players', Science and Medicine in Football, 3 131-137 (2019)

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group. Purpose: Monitoring athletic development in youth soccer can help sporting professionals monitor athlet... [more]

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: Monitoring athletic development in youth soccer can help sporting professionals monitor athletic development and evaluate the effectiveness of training interventions. However, long-term follow up in talent development programmes in youth soccer is complicated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to forecast the developmental trajectories of explosive leg power in youth soccer players. Methods: Mixed effects regression models were used to forecast explosive leg power (countermovement (CMJ) and standing broad jump (SBJ)) in a longitudinal sample of 2201 youth soccer players from two high level Belgian¿acedemies and the Belgian National teams. Players were aged between 6 and 20¿years (mean age¿=¿13.04¿±¿3.18¿y) and were subdivided into three age cohorts (6¿10, 11¿15, and 16¿20¿y) for CMJ and two age cohorts (6¿16, and 17¿20¿y) for SBJ. Results: This study was able to accurately forecast explosive leg power using different regression equations in each age cohort. Conclusions: Researchers, coaches, and sporting professionals can use these methods to either predict future explosive leg power from current performance measures, monitor the development of explosive leg power, or assess the effectiveness of training interactions aimed at altering predicted developmental trajectories.

DOI 10.1080/24733938.2018.1524988
2019 Bennett KJM, Vaeyens R, Fransen J, 'Creating a framework for talent identification and development in emerging football nations', Science and Medicine in Football, 3 36-42 (2019)

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group. Talent identification and development in football is a complex, multifaceted process. Currently, most o... [more]

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Talent identification and development in football is a complex, multifaceted process. Currently, most of the research in this domain is conducted in highly ranked, established football nations where the sport is immensely popular (e.g. Germany, Portugal, Belgium, etc.). Whilst these nation¿s data are informative to some degree, there is little conclusive evidence supporting the effectiveness of traditional talent identification approaches. Typically, talent identification involves actively selecting promising players with early performance superiorities without considering the changes that can occur during development. Consequently, it is difficult to develop a framework for emerging football nations as the repercussions of adopting traditional approaches to talent identification are likely greater due to differences the size of the talent pool, accessibility of systematic training environments, and availability of financial and logistical resources. It is proposed that emerging football nations should focus on: preventing active deselection and dropout to maximise the size of the talent pool, mitigating the influence of confounding factors on talent identification, and longitudinally tracking players throughout development to document the performance profiles that lead to football expertise. Collectively, these strategies can reduce the reliance on identifying players based on early performance superiorities and focus on holistic, long-term development.

DOI 10.1080/24733938.2018.1489141
Citations Scopus - 7
2019 Beavan A, Fransen J, Spielmann J, Mayer J, Skorski S, Meyer T, 'The Footbonaut as a new football-specific skills test: reproducibility and age-related differences in highly trained youth players', Science and Medicine in Football, 3 177-182 (2019)

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group. Purpose: In sport, assessments are routinely administered to give an indication of performance. Assessi... [more]

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: In sport, assessments are routinely administered to give an indication of performance. Assessing a skill requires external factors to dictate how and when the action is performed, highlighting the need for skill assessments to closely replicate the perception-action couplings experienced in football game play. Therefore, this study investigated if the Footbonaut is a valid and reliable football-specific skill assessment tool. Methods: Footbonaut performance scores from 152 male players from U12 to U23 representing a professional German Bundesliga club during the 2016/2017 season were analysed. Results: Pearson correlations (r) and coefficient of variation (CV) for the correct number of passes in a target (CV¿=¿7.5¿11.1; r =¿0.48; p <¿0.001), the speed at which they completed each trial (CV¿=¿2.6¿5.1; r =¿0.70; p <¿0.001), and a computer-generated point score (CV¿=¿7.4¿12.3; r =¿0.77; p <¿0.001) demonstrated acceptable test¿retest reliability. Moreover, a MANOVA revealed a strong multivariate effect of age group on speed and accuracy combined (F =¿7.80, p <¿0.001, ES¿=¿0.28), demonstrating the Footbonaut¿s construct validity. Conclusion: The results in this study demonstrated that the Footbonaut is a valid and reliable assessment of football-specific skill.

DOI 10.1080/24733938.2018.1548772
Citations Scopus - 2
2019 Henderson MJ, Fransen J, McGrath JJ, Harries SK, Poulos N, Coutts AJ, 'Situational factors affecting rugby sevens match performance', Science and Medicine in Football, 3 275-280 (2019)

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group. Purpose: To examine the independent influence of a range of situational factors on physical and technic... [more]

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: To examine the independent influence of a range of situational factors on physical and technical match performance during international rugby sevens matches. Methods: Data was collected from 20 professional rugby sevens players from one team across one competitive season. Activity profiles were measured using wearable microtechnology devices, and technical performance measures were collected using match video analysis. A principal components analysis was conducted to reduce the dimensionality of the physical and technical match performance variables into single index values incorporating each variable¿s distinct information. Linear mixed models were then constructed to examine the collective influence of external contextual factors on physical and technical index scores. Results: Increased points conceded, a winning match outcome, and more favourable weather all had positive impacts on the Physical Performance Factor, with all other situational factors examined not contributing to a significantly better model fit. Technical Performance Factor values were shown to increase with longer match involvement durations and decrease when playing against higher ranked opponents. Conclusions: These findings show that winning the match, conceding more points, and more favourable weather conditions are associated with increased physical performance; whilst technical performance improved with longer playing durations and playing lower ranked opponents.

DOI 10.1080/24733938.2019.1609070
2019 Thompson CJ, Fransen J, Skorski S, Smith MR, Meyer T, Barrett S, Coutts AJ, 'Mental Fatigue in Football: Is it Time to Shift the Goalposts? An Evaluation of the Current Methodology', Sports Medicine, 49 177-183 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s40279-018-1016-z
Citations Scopus - 8Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Mitch Smith
2019 Pluss MA, Bennett KJM, Novak AR, Panchuk D, Coutts AJ, Fransen J, 'Esports: The chess of the 21st century', Frontiers in Psychology, 10 (2019)

© 2019 Pluss, Bennett, Novak, Panchuk, Coutts and Fransen. For many decades, researchers have explored the true potential of human achievement. The expertise field has come a long... [more]

© 2019 Pluss, Bennett, Novak, Panchuk, Coutts and Fransen. For many decades, researchers have explored the true potential of human achievement. The expertise field has come a long way since the early works of de Groot (1965) and Chase and Simon (1973). Since then, this inquiry has expanded into the areas of music, science, technology, sport, academia, and art. Despite the vast amount of research to date, the capability of study methodologies to truly capture the nature of expertise remains questionable. Some considerations include (i) the individual bias in the retrospective recall of developmental activities, (ii) the ability to develop ecologically valid tasks, and (iii) difficulties capturing the influence of confounding factors on expertise. This article proposes that expertise research in electronic sports (esports) presents an opportunity to overcome some of these considerations. Esports involves individuals or teams of players that compete in video game competitions via human-computer interaction. Advantages of applying the expert performance approach in esports include (i) developmental activities are objectively tracked and automatically logged online, (ii) the constraints of representative tasks correspond with the real-world environment of esports performance, and (iii) expertise has emerged without the influence of guided systematic training environments. Therefore, this article argues that esports research provides an ideal opportunity to further advance research on the development and assessment of human expertise.

DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00156
Citations Scopus - 2
2019 O'Brien-Smith J, Tribolet R, Smith MR, Bennett KJM, Fransen J, Pion J, Lenoir M, 'The use of the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder in the talent pathway in youth athletes: a systematic review.', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 1021-1029 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.05.014
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Mitch Smith
2019 Bennett KJM, Novak AR, Pluss MA, Coutts AJ, Fransen J, 'Assessing the validity of a video-based decision-making assessment for talent identification in youth soccer', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 729-734 (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.12.011
Citations Scopus - 3
2018 Novak AR, Bennett KJM, Fransen J, Dascombe BJ, 'A multidimensional approach to performance prediction in Olympic distance cross-country mountain bikers', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 36 71-78 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2017.1280611
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8
Co-authors Ben Dascombe
2018 Novak AR, Bennett KJM, Fransen J, Dascombe BJ, 'Predictors of performance in a 4-h mountain-bike race', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 36 462-468 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2017.1313999
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Ben Dascombe
2018 Fransen J, Bush S, Woodcock S, Novak A, Deprez D, Baxter-Jones ADG, et al., 'Improving the Prediction of Maturity From Anthropometric Variables Using a Maturity Ratio', PEDIATRIC EXERCISE SCIENCE, 30 296-307 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1123/pes.2017-0009
Citations Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7
2018 Woods CT, Veale J, Fransen J, Robertson S, Collier NF, 'Classification of playing position in elite junior Australian football using technical skill indicators', Journal of Sports Sciences, 36 97-103 (2018)

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group. ¿In team sport, classifying playing position based on a players¿ expressed skill sets can provide a guide to ta... [more]

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. ¿In team sport, classifying playing position based on a players¿ expressed skill sets can provide a guide to talent identification by enabling the recognition of performance attributes relative to playing position. Here, elite junior Australian football players were a priori classified into 1 of 4 common playing positions; forward, midfield, defence, and ruck. Three analysis approaches were used to assess the extent to which 12 in-game skill performance indicators could classify playing position. These were a linear discriminant analysis (LDA), random forest, and a PART decision list. The LDA produced classification accuracy of 56.8%, with class errors ranging from 19.6% (midfielders) to 75.0% (ruck). The random forest model performed at a slightly worse level (51.62%), with class errors ranging from 27.8% (midfielders) to 100% (ruck). The decision list revealed 6 rules capable of classifying playing position at accuracy of 70.1%, with class errors ranging from 14.4% (midfielders) to 100% (ruck). Although the PART decision list produced the greatest relative classification accuracy, the technical skill indicators reported were generally unable to accurately classify players according to their position using the 3 analysis approaches. This player homogeneity may complicate recruitment by constraining talent recruiter¿s ability to objectively recognise distinctive positional attributes.

DOI 10.1080/02640414.2017.1282621
Citations Scopus - 9
2018 Fransen J, Baxter-Jones A, Woodcock S, 'Responding to the Commentary on the Article: "Improving the Prediction of Maturity From Anthropometric Variables Using a Maturity Ratio"', PEDIATRIC EXERCISE SCIENCE, 30 311-313 (2018)
DOI 10.1123/pes.2017-0249
2018 Peek K, Gatherer D, Bennett KJM, Fransen J, Watsford M, 'Muscle strength characteristics of the hamstrings and quadriceps in players from a high-level youth football (soccer) Academy', RESEARCH IN SPORTS MEDICINE, 26 276-288 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/15438627.2018.1447475
Citations Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7
2017 Smith MR, Fransen J, Deprez D, Lenoir M, Coutts AJ, 'Impact of mental fatigue on speed and accuracy components of soccer-specific skills', Science and Medicine in Football, 1 48-52 (2017)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2016.1252850
Citations Scopus - 10
Co-authors Mitch Smith
2017 Fransen J, Lovell TWJ, Bennett KJM, Deprez D, Deconinck FJA, Lenoir M, Coutts AJ, 'The Influence of Restricted Visual Feedback on Dribbling Performance in Youth Soccer Players', MOTOR CONTROL, 21 158-167 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1123/mc.2015-0059
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 3
2017 Novak AR, Bennett KJM, Beavan A, Pion J, Spiteri T, Fransen J, Lenoir M, 'The applicability of a short form of the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder for measuring motor competence in children aged 6 to 11 years', Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 5 227-239 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1123/jmld.2016-0028
Citations Scopus - 13
2016 Henrique RS, Ré AHN, Stodden DF, Fransen J, Campos CMC, Queiroz DR, Cattuzzo MT, 'Association between sports participation, motor competence and weight status: A longitudinal study', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19 825-829 (2016) [C1]

© 2015 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate if baseline motor competence, weight status and sports participation in early childhood predic... [more]

© 2015 Sports Medicine Australia Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate if baseline motor competence, weight status and sports participation in early childhood predict sports participation two years later. Design longitudinal study. Methods In 2010, motor competence (object control and locomotor skills), weight status and sports participation were assessed in 292 children between three and five years-of-age. In 2012, sports participation was re-evaluated in 206 of the original 292 children. Logistic regression was implemented to examine if initial sports participation, motor competence and weight status would predict sports participation two years later. Results In the final model, sports participation in 2010 (OR = 9.68, CI: 3.46 to 27.13) and locomotor skills (OR = 1.21, CI: 1.01 to 1.46) significantly predicted sports participation after two years. Conclusions These results suggest that initial sports participation and more advanced locomotor skills in preschool years may be important to promote continued participation in sports across childhood.

DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2015.12.512
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 5
2016 Bennett KJM, Fransen J, Scott BR, Sanctuary CE, Gabbett TJ, Dascombe BJ, 'Positional group significantly influences the offensive and defensive skill involvements of junior representative rugby league players during match play', Journal of Sports Sciences, 34 1542-1546 (2016) [C1]

© 2015 Taylor &amp; Francis. This study examined the skill involvements of three positional groups across a junior representative rugby league season. Data were collected from 4... [more]

© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This study examined the skill involvements of three positional groups across a junior representative rugby league season. Data were collected from 45 rugby league players (mean ± SD; age = 16.5 ± 1.0 years) currently participating in the Harold Matthews and SG Ball Cup. Players were subdivided into hit-up forwards, adjustables and outside backs. The frequency (n · min-1) of offensive, defensive and overall involvements was coded for each group using a notation system and a practical coach skill analysis tool. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed a significant effect of playing position on skill involvements (F = 9.06; P < 0.001; ES = 0.41). Hit-up forwards performed a significantly greater frequency of offensive (0.31 ± 0.10), defensive (0.42 ± 0.15) and overall involvements (0.74 ± 0.19) when compared to adjustables (0.20 ± 0.08, 0.28 ± 0.08 and 0.52 ± 0.15, respectively) and outside backs (0.20 ± 0.12, 0.11 ± 0.07 and ± 0.31 ± 0.17, respectively). Further, adjustables performed a significantly greater number of defensive (0.28 ± 0.08) and overall involvements (0.52 ± 0.15) when compared to outside backs (0.11 ± 0.07 and 0.31 ± 0.17, respectively). The findings of this study suggest that it is important to consider a junior player¿s positional group when analysing their skill involvements. Information gained from this study could assist in the design of specific training methodologies for junior rugby league players in high-level talent development programmes.

DOI 10.1080/02640414.2015.1122206
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Ben Dascombe
2016 Bennett KJM, Scott BR, Fransen J, Elsworthy N, Sanctuary CE, Gabbett TJ, Dascombe BJ, 'Examining the skill involvements of under-16 rugby league players during a small-sided game and match-play', International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 11 532-537 (2016) [C1]

© The Author(s) 2016. This study investigated the correlations between the skill demands of an &apos;on-side&apos; small-sided game (SSG) and match-play in under-16 junior rugby l... [more]

© The Author(s) 2016. This study investigated the correlations between the skill demands of an 'on-side' small-sided game (SSG) and match-play in under-16 junior rugby league players. Fifteen Harold Matthews players undertook a SSG (10 vs. 10 on a 68 m by 40 m playing surface for 3 min) in the week leading up to round 6 of their competitive season. The frequency of skill involvements (i.e. offensive, defensive and total) was manually coded using a specific criterion. The defensive and total skill involvements were significantly higher per minute of play in the SSG when compared to match-play. A significant, very large, positive correlation was observed between offensive and total skill involvements during a SSG and offensive skill involvements during a match (r(s) = 0.80, p < 0.01; r(s) = 0.71, p < 0.01, respectively). No significant correlations were evident for defensive skill involvements during SSG and match-play. Overall, it appears that the selected SSG provided players with ample opportunity to practice match-specific skills. In addition, the transfer of these opportunities seems confined to offensive rather then defensive skills.

DOI 10.1177/1747954116654780
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Ben Dascombe
2016 Woods CT, Banyard HG, McKeown I, Fransen J, Robertson S, 'Discriminating talent identified junior Australian footballers using a fundamental gross athletic movement assessment', Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 15 548-553 (2016)

© Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Talent identification (TID) is a pertinent component of the sports sciences, affording practitioners the opportunity to target developmen... [more]

© Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Talent identification (TID) is a pertinent component of the sports sciences, affording practitioners the opportunity to target developmental interventions to a select few; optimising financial investments. However, TID is multi-componential, requiring the recognition of immediate and prospective performance. The measurement of athletic movement skill may afford practitioners insight into the latter component given its augmented relationship with functional sport specific qualities. It is currently unknown whether athletic movement skill is a discriminant quality in junior Australian football (AF). This study aimed to discriminate talent identified junior AF players from their non-talent identified counterparts using a fundamental gross athletic movement assessment. From a total of 50 under 18 (U18) AF players; two groups were classified a priori based on selection level; talent identified (n = 25; state academy representatives) and non-talent identified (n = 25; state-based competition repre-sentatives). Players performed a fundamental gross athletic movement assessment based on the Athletic Ability Assessment (AAA), consisting of an overhead squat, double lunge (left and right legs), single leg Romanian deadlift (left and right legs), and a push up (six movement criterions). Movements were scored across three assessment points using a three-point scale (resulting in a possible score of nine for each movement). A multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant between group effects on four of the six movement criterions (d = 0.56 ¿ 0.87; p = 0.01 ¿ 0.02). Binary logistic regression models and a receiver operating characteristic curve inspection revealed that the overhead squat score provided the greatest group discrimination (ß(SE) = -0.89(0.44); p < 0.05), with a score of 4.5 classifying 64% and 88% of the talent identified and non-talent identified groups, respectively. Results support the integration of this assessment into contemporary talent identification approaches in junior AF, as it may provide coaches with insight into a juniors developmental potential.

Citations Scopus - 11
2015 Deprez D, Fransen J, Boone J, Lenoir M, Philippaerts R, Vaeyens R, 'Characteristics of high-level youth soccer players: variation by playing position', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 33 243-254 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2014.934707
Citations Scopus - 41Web of Science - 27
2015 Deprez D, Buchheit M, Fransen J, Pion J, Lenoir M, Philippaerts RM, Vaeyens R, 'A longitudinal study investigating the stability of anthropometry and soccerspecific endurance in pubertal high-level youth soccer players', Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 14 418-426 (2015) [C1]

© 2015, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. All rights reserved. We investigated the evolution and stability of anthropometric and soccer-specific endurance characteristics of... [more]

© 2015, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. All rights reserved. We investigated the evolution and stability of anthropometric and soccer-specific endurance characteristics of 42 high-level, pubertal soccer players with high, average and low yo-yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (YYIR1) baseline performances over two and four years. The rates of improvement were calculated for each performance group, and intra-class correlations were used to verify short- and long-term stability. The main finding was that after two and four years, the magnitudes of the differences at baseline were reduced, although players with high YYIR1 baseline performance still covered the largest distance (e.g., low from 703 m to 2126 m; high from 1503 m to 2434 m over four years). Furthermore, the YYIR1 showed a high stability over two years (ICC = 0.76) and a moderate stability over four years (ICC = 0.59), due to large intra-individual differences in YYIR1 performances over time. Anthropometric measures showed very high stability (ICCs between 0.94 to 0.97) over a two-year period, in comparison with a moderate stability (ICCs between 0.57 and 0.75) over four years. These results confirm the moderate-to-high stability of high-intensity running performance in young soccer players, and suggest that the longer the follow-up, the lower the ability to predict player¿s future potential in running performance. They also show that with growth and maturation, poor performers might only partially catch up their fitter counterparts between 12 and 16 years.

Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 10
2015 Deprez D, Fransen J, Lenoir M, Philippaerts RM, Vaeyens R, 'The Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 is reliable in young high-level soccer players', BIOLOGY OF SPORT, 32 65-70 (2015)
DOI 10.5604/20831862.1127284
Citations Scopus - 14Web of Science - 16
2015 Pion JA, Fransen J, Deprez DN, Segers VI, Vaeyens R, Philippaerts RM, Lenoir M, 'STATURE AND JUMPING HEIGHT ARE REQUIRED IN FEMALE VOLLEYBALL, BUT MOTOR COORDINATION IS A KEY FACTOR FOR FUTURE ELITE SUCCESS', JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH, 29 1480-1485 (2015)
DOI 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000778
Citations Scopus - 34Web of Science - 28
2015 Deprez DN, Fransen J, Lenoir M, Philippaerts RM, Vaeyens R, 'A retrospective study on anthropometrical, physical fitness, and motor coordination characteristics that influence dropout, contract status, and first-team playing time in high-level soccer players aged eight to eighteen years.', Journal of strength and conditioning research, 29 1692-1704 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1519/jsc.0000000000000806
2014 Deprez D, Fransen J, Lenoir M, Philippaerts RM, Vaeyens R, 'A retrospective study on anthropometrical, physical fitness and motor coordination characteristics that influence drop out, contract status and first-team playing time in high-level soccer players, aged 8 to 18 years.', J Strength Cond Res, (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000806
Citations Scopus - 55Web of Science - 39
2014 Deprez D, Coutts AJ, Lenoir M, Fransen J, Pion J, Philippaerts R, Vaeyens R, 'Reliability and validity of the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 in young soccer players', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 32 903-910 (2014)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2013.876088
Citations Scopus - 23Web of Science - 22
2014 Fransen J, D'Hondt E, Bourgois J, Vaeyens R, Philippaerts RM, Lenoir M, 'Motor competence assessment in children: Convergent and discriminant validity between the BOT-2 Short Form and KTK testing batteries', RESEARCH IN DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, 35 1375-1383 (2014)
DOI 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.03.011
Citations Scopus - 46Web of Science - 35
2014 Fransen J, Deprez D, Pion J, Tallir IB, D'Hondt E, Vaeyens R, et al., 'Changes in Physical Fitness and Sports Participation Among Children With Different Levels of Motor Competence: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study', PEDIATRIC EXERCISE SCIENCE, 26 11-21 (2014)
DOI 10.1123/pes.2013-0005
Citations Scopus - 32Web of Science - 32
2014 Pion J, Fransen J, Lenoir M, Segers V, 'The value of non-sport-specific characteristics for talent orientation in young male judo, karate and taekwondo athletes', Archives of Budo, 10 147-152 (2014)
Citations Scopus - 19Web of Science - 21
2014 Pion J, Segers V, Fransen J, Debuyck G, Deprez D, Haerens L, et al., 'Generic anthropometric and performance characteristics among elite adolescent boys in nine different sports', European Journal of Sport Science, (2014) [C1]

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the Flemish Sports Compass (FSC), a non-sport-specific generic testing battery. It was hypothesised that a set of 22 tests would have ... [more]

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the Flemish Sports Compass (FSC), a non-sport-specific generic testing battery. It was hypothesised that a set of 22 tests would have sufficient discriminant power to allocate athletes to their own sport based on a unique combination of test scores. First, discriminant analyses were applied to the 22 tests of anthropometry, physical fitness and motor coordination in 141 boys under age 18 (16.1 ± 0.8 years) and post age at peak height velocity (maturity offset = 2.674 ± 0.926) from Flemish Top Sport Academies for badminton, basketball, gymnastics, handball, judo, soccer, table tennis, triathlon and volleyball. Second, nine sequential discriminant analyses were used to assess the ability of a set of relevant performance characteristics classifying participants and non-participants for the respective sports. Discriminant analyses resulted in a 96.4% correct classification of all participants for the nine different sports. When focusing on relevant performance characteristics, 80.1% to 97.2% of the total test sample was classified correctly within their respective disciplines. The discriminating characteristics were briefly the following: flexibility in gymnastics, explosive lower-limb strength in badminton and volleyball, speed and agility in badminton, judo, soccer and volleyball, upper-body strength in badminton, basketball and gymnastics, cardiorespiratory endurance in triathletes, dribbling skills in handball, basketball and soccer and overhead-throwing skills in badminton and volleyball. The generic talent characteristics of the FSC enable the distinction of adolescent boys according to their particular sport. Implications for talent programmes are discussed. © 2014 © 2014 European College of Sport Science.

DOI 10.1080/17461391.2014.944875
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 30
2013 Deprez D, Coutts AJ, Fransen J, Deconinck FJA, Lenoir M, Vaeyens R, Philippaerts R, 'Relative Age, Biological Maturation and Anaerobic Characteristics in Elite Youth Soccer Players', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 34 897-903 (2013)
DOI 10.1055/s-0032-1333262
Citations Scopus - 49Web of Science - 47
2013 Matthys SPJ, Vaeyens R, Fransen J, Deprez D, Pion J, Vandendriessche J, et al., 'A longitudinal study of multidimensional performance characteristics related to physical capacities in youth handball', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 31 325-334 (2013)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2012.733819
Citations Scopus - 30Web of Science - 32
2013 Matthys SPJ, Fransen J, Vaeyens R, Lenoir M, Philippaerts R, 'Differences in biological maturation, anthropometry and physical performance between playing positions in youth team handball', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 31 1344-1352 (2013)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2013.781663
Citations Scopus - 26Web of Science - 28
2012 Fransen J, Pion J, Vandendriessche J, Vandorpe B, Vaeyens R, Lenoir M, Philippaerts RM, 'Differences in physical fitness and gross motor coordination in boys aged 6-12 years specializing in one versus sampling more than one sport', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 30 379-386 (2012)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2011.642808
Citations Scopus - 80Web of Science - 69
Show 42 more journal articles

Conference (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 O'Brien-Smith J, Bennett K, Fransen J, Smith M, 'A MULTIDIMENSIONAL INSIGHT INTO THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS WITHIN AUSTRALIAN SOCCER', A MULTIDIMENSIONAL INSIGHT INTO THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS WITHIN AUSTRALIAN SOCCER, Prague, Czech Republic (2019)
Co-authors Mitch Smith
2014 Smith MR, Fransen J, Coutts AJ, 'The effects of three cognitively demanding tasks on psychological and performance indicators of cognitive fatigue', Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014)
Co-authors Mitch Smith
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current1

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2018 PhD Decision Making and Perceptual Cognitive Training in Team Sport Athletes PhD (Exercise & Sport Science), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Consultant Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 PhD Development of Valid Performance Testing Protocols for Mountain Bikers PhD (Exercise & Sport Science), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Dr Job Fransen

Position

Conjoint Lecturer
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email job.fransen@newcastle.edu.au

Office

Room .
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