We are an online platform offering a theoretical basis and practical application for all aspects related to multi-directional speed. Our goal is to disseminate information to scientists, coaches and athletes, who are striving to optimise performance and minimise injury risk in their respective sports.
Our team consists of five members: Tom Dos’Santos, Alistair McBurnie, Chris Thomas, Paul Jones, and Damian Harper. As a collective, the Science of Multi-Directional Speed Team share a passion for science, research and innovation, which underpins our philosophy and ensures our content is always driven through the lens of peer-reviewed, scientific rationale.
Tom Dos’Santos, PhD, MSc*D, PGCLTHE*D, BSc (Hons), CSCS*D, FHEA is a lecturer in Strength and Conditioning and Sports Biomechanics at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), having completed his PhD in Sports Biomechanics at the University of Salford (2020) where he investigated the biomechanical determinants of performance and injury risk during change of direction. Tom has published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, with research interests including change of direction biomechanics, anterior cruciate ligament injury screening and intervention, inter-limb asymmetry, and assessment and development of strength and power characteristics, and he is also a research member of the Musculoskeletal Science and Sports Medicine Research Centre (MMU), Football Science Institute (Granada, Spain), Human Braking Performance Research Group (UCLAN), and the England Para-football Research Centre. Tom is an NSCA certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (with distinction), having previously worked as a strength and conditioning coach for Manchester United FC, Salford City FC, England North-West Netball, England Lacrosse academy, and Manchester BMX club.
Tom is currently a Physical Performance Coach for England Para-Football, and he consults on strength and movement profiling with sport technology companies and sports teams such as Sale Sharks Rugby and Manchester United FC, and has previously consulted with the England Football Association on change of direction biomechanics. Tom is also a visiting lecturer on postgraduate programmes at Middlesex University, University of Girona, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Football Science Institute, and he is an editor for the International Journal of Strength and Conditioning.
Alistair McBurnie, BSc (Hons) is a 1st Team Sports Science Analyst at Manchester United F.C., United Kingdom. His primary role involves supporting data analytics and on-going management of all performance-related data within the Athletic Training Services of Manchester United’s 1st Team. His previous roles at the club have involved supporting the sports science, strength and conditioning, and performance analysis services within the Academy. Alistair has also worked as an intern sport scientist and strength and conditioning coach at both Salford City FC and Rochdale FC.
Since graduating in 2018, Alistair has featured in 15+ research articles alongside being an applied practitioner in elite soccer. He has recently began a part-time Post-Graduate Research Studentship with Nottingham Trent University, where his main research interest will cover the topic of multi-directional speed profiling in elite soccer. Specifically, his aims will be to evaluate the high-intensity movement profile of soccer players and establish a more quantitative and qualitative basis for evaluating the movement demands of the sport.
Chris Thomas, PhD, MSc*D, BSc (Hons), CSCS*D, ASCC is a Strength & Conditioning Coach and Performance Support Lead for Track & Field at Aspire Academy, Qatar. His main role is overseeing athlete support and research projects from creation to execution, while also collaborating on innovation initiatives with key stakeholders across the Academy.
Chris also has PhD in Sports Biomechanics from the University of Salford, where his passion for sciences and innovation has seen him feature in over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, primarily in the areas of change of direction biomechanics, asymmetry, and strength and power diagnostics.
Paul A. Jones PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), CSCS*D, CSci, BASES Accredited is a lecturer in Sports Biomechanics/Strength and Conditioning at the University of Salford, United Kingdom. Paul earned a BSc (Hons) and MSc in Sports Science both from Liverpool John Moores University and a PhD in Sports Biomechanics at the University of Salford. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist recertified with distinction (CSCS*D) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), an Accredited Sports and Exercise Scientist with the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and a Chartered Scientist (CSci) with The Science Council.
Paul has over 18 years’ experience in Biomechanics and Strength and Conditioning support to athletes and teams, working in sports such as athletics, football and rugby and was a former sports science support co-ordinator for UK disability athletics (2002-2006). Paul has authored/ co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, mainly in the areas of change of direction biomechanics, assessment and development of speed, change of direction speed & agility and strength diagnostics. Paul has co-edited a book ‘Performance Assessment in Strength and Conditioning’ by Routledge and is a member of the BASES Accreditation committee.
Damian Harper, PhD, MSc, CSci, ASCC, FHEA, is a Lecturer in Coaching and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire and Founder of Human Braking Performance (HumanBrakingPerformance.com). He is an accredited sport and exercise scientist (BASES) and strength and conditioning coach (UKSCA), and world renowned for the impact that his research has had on developing applied sports performance practices. His research interests are focused on innovations and approaches to optimizing human sports performance, which he has a particular interest and expertise in understanding the performance and health implications of high-intensity movement actions performed by athletes in multi-directional sports.
Damian’s PhD investigated the neuromuscular determinants of deceleration in team sports and pioneered some of the first approaches to help practitioners understand the performance and injury-risk implications of braking during high-intensity deceleration maneuvers. Damian has published numerous peer reviewed journal articles, presented at national and international conferences, and consulted with many high-performance sports organizations on the importance of deceleration, including the development of the ‘braking strength’ framework for the English Football Association (The FA). Damian continues to collaborate with world-leading experts and organizations from across the globe, with the aim of developing innovate approaches to better understand the role of deceleration for performance enhancement and injury-risk reduction for athletes participating in multi-directional sports.