sport science

Sketchnotes: AFL Grand Final Symposium 2017 + timelapse video!

This year’s AFL Grand Final Symposium took place on Friday 29th September, 2017. These days, I usually attend any seminar, symposium, or conference with my sketchnoting gear* in tow. This time, I decided to travel light. I live-tweeted periodically throughout the day, as did a few others, but I didn’t do any live sketchnoting as I normally would.

I’ve been thinking for a while (years, really) about capturing my sketchnoting process as it happens. Then it struck me – with key messages from the symposium fresh in my mind, I could easily create a post hoc sketchnote of the event while capturing the process as a screen recording. Three tutorials and some new software installations later, et voilahere’s a timelapse video that demonstrates my sketchnoting process from start to finish. It captures, in ~2 min, what actually took me over 2 hours to create in real time. Enjoy!

And here’s the finished product, featuring comments from:

  • Andrew Russell (Elite Performance Manager, Hawthorn FC; @jackrussellEP)
  • Andrea Farrow (Player Development Coordinator, St Kilda FC; @andyleefarrow)
  • Michelle Cowan (Senior Coach – AFLW, Fremantle FC; @mishcowan)
  • Aasta O’Connor (AFLW player – Western Bulldogs FC & AFL Women’s Academy Manager; @AastaOConnor)
AFL Grand Final Symposium 2017 | Sketchnotes by Jacquie Tran

Click to view full size image.

* For those inquiring minds who want to know what I use to create my sketchnotes, here’s the nitty gritty:

  • iPad 3
  • GoodNotes app
  • Adonit Jot Pro stylus
  • I write and draw by hand (i.e., the text you see is my handwriting – not a typeface!)



Senate Inquiry into Sports Science in Australia: Watch This Space…


Increasingly, stakeholders at all levels of sport understand and value the contribution that sports scientists make to improving athletic performance and encouraging healthy participation.  Sports scientists have rightly become essential members of athlete support teams, with senior sports scientists taking on performance management responsibilities that require them to oversee several aspects of an athlete’s preparation.

Sports Science, without question, is the biggest and most important change in my lifetime.

– Sir Alex Ferguson (Former Manager of Manchester United, from 1986 – 2013)

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Sports Science in the World of Science, by Bengt Saltin at ECSS 2013

What a privilege to see Bengt Saltin presenting the Honorary session on the final day of the European College of Sports Science Congress 2013. Seems a very humble man, despite the incredible impact and apparent timelessness of the work he has done, from the early part of his career until now. I was amazed to see the very elegant way he links basic mechanisms to human performance. We could all do with more of this capacity to zoom the lens in AND out, so that we make interpretations and recommendations with consciousness of the micro and macro worlds.

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European College of Sports Science Congress 2013: Gathering my thoughts

We’re about 40 mins away from the closing Honorary session of this year’s European College of Sports Science Congress, to be delivered by Bengt Saltin. Time enough for me to jot down some quick thoughts about my experience of this year’s conference…

I used to think of conferences as a really big deal. And I still think they are…to an extent. I feel absolutely privileged to have my work accepted for presentation before my peers, and I can hardly complain that this process of research dissemination involves international travel as well. But with a few conferences under my belt now, I am beginning to understand that these events serve not as a capstone on research projects, but as a chance to sow seeds. The chance to propose your unique ideas, to push your chicks out of the nest and see if they fly, so to speak.

I was happy with my mini-oral presentation. Said what I wanted to say, and got a couple of good questions afterwards which will inform my write up of the study. I was also pleased that the mini-orals were presented in separate rooms. Last year’s multi-purpose room setting was chaotic to say the least, so I’m glad that the conference organisers listened to the feedback and did things differently here in Barcelona.

Good to see an improvement in social media use by the conference. Evert Verhagen (@evertverhagen) and myself had a great chat about this earlier in the week, and we both agreed that there is plenty of room for improvement (less broadcasting, more interaction) but I think it’s a step in the right direction. Particularly pleased to track the #ECSS13 hashtag and see lots of other Twitter handles aside from my own. A different experience to what happened with #ECSS2012 😉

Barcelona is simultaneously wonderful and terrible as a conference location. It is wonderful because of the gorgeous weather, the long sunny days, the friendly people, the incredible food, the efficient transport. But it is terrible because I couldn’t help but feel a little torn between wanting to catch conference sessions and yearning to go exploring outside the walls of the conference venue… #firstworldproblems!

More to come over the next few days, as I get time to catch a breath and let my ideas germinate. While I haven’t been as intensely involved as a conference participant this year, it has been a productive time nonetheless, and encouraging to feel that my research questions (big and small) are heading in the right direction.

Sports Medicine and Sports Science in 2012 and Beyond (be active 2012 Symposium)

More sketchnotes, this time from the be active 2012 symposium, “Sports Medicine and Sports Science in 2012 and Beyond”.  The session featured a clutch of big-hitters: Prof Karim Khan, Prof Jill Cook, Prof Malcolm Collins, and Prof Roger Enoka.  Such a privilege to hear the thoughts of these highly respected and active scholars on what sports medicine and sports science has been able to achieve, and what is next for our fields…

By the way, I’ve been delighted to receive such lovely comments and emails about my sketchnotes!  Many have asked how I do it, and I’ve been meaning to write a workflow blog post for a while now so that will be coming up in the next week or so, providing greater detail about my sketchnote and mind map processes.  But for now, here’s the short version!

Option 1: pen and paper

It often surprises people to find out that I love writing and working with a physical pen and a sketchbook, given my online presence.  Admittedly, there is an element of new media to the process:

  • Step 1 – create a mind map or sketchnote using pen and paper.
  • Step 2 – use my smartphone (Android) to digitise each page using CamScanner.
  • Step 3 – export to PDF from within CamScanner, and share the file to relevant platforms (e.g., a note management system like Evernote, my blogs, Twitter, etc.).

Option 2: iPad

I’ve recently acquired an iPad and I quite enjoy using it.  Though I love the romanticism in putting pen to paper, the digitising process can be tedious, particulary with extensive sketchnotes spanning many pages.  The iPad addresses this problem quite nicely:

  • Step 1 – create a mind map or sketchnote within the GoodNotes app for iPad, using a stylus (this is critical if you are a neat freak like me!)
  • Step 2 – export to PDF from within GoodNotes, and share the file to relevant platforms.

Beyond Central and Peripheral Mechanisms in Muscle Fatigue (Invited Presentation by Prof Roger Enoka, European College of Sports Science Congress 2012)

More sketchnotes!  These were from Prof Roger Enoka’s presentation on central and peripheral fatigue, and their effects on muscle physiology and performance (click here for the abstract).  A hot topic in sport and exercise science over the last year or so!

Enoka 2012 - Central and Peripheral Fatigue

Recovery and Sleep in Elite Athletes (presented by Dr Shona Halson, European College of Sports Science Congress 2012)

My sketchnotes from Dr Shona Halson’s presentation on recovery and sleep in elite athletes, during this year’s European College of Sports Science Congress (Bruges, Belgium).

Halson 2012 - Recovery and Sleep in Elite Athletes

Learnist as a Sports Science Teaching Tool: Initial Thoughts

I’ve just started using Learnist, a highly visual public curation tool that takes a similar approach to pinboards in Pinterest, but encourages its users to develop boards with “learnings” around specific topic areas.  I’ve started off with two boards, “Sports Science in the Real World” and “My productivity toolbox”, which I will continue to update over time:

Sports Science in the Real World | Learnist - Jacquie Tran My productivity toolbox | Learnist - Jacquie Tran

Already, I can see lots of potential for this tool to be useful in a teaching context.  Looking forward to curating content to help provide context to their studies in exercise and sports science, as well as pulling together resources to support my students in developing graduate competencies.

If you’re on Learnist, follow me here: .  Or, if you’d like an invite, leave a comment below 🙂

Developing an Academic Presentation, Part 2: Sketchnotes for Structure

Stage: Initial Draft

Progress to date: Drafting presentation structure and content.

I’m not a naturally linear thinker.  So sketchnotes are a great way for me to get my thoughts down on paper without feeling restricted by headings and sequencing a flow of thoughts – I worry about all those structural components later.  Here’s a quick sketchnote I did yesterday, to kick start my brain into thinking about the key messages I want to convey with my presentation.

ACSMS 2012 Presentation Prep: Jacquie Tran's Sketchnotes

Science in Football Symposium, hosted by the Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)

On Wednesday 5th September, 2012, the Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS) held a “Science in Football” symposium at Deakin University.  The event brought together experts from a variety of disciplines and codes, to “talk shop” about how science is being applied in football, how it has transformed these sports, and the next frontier of challenges for sport scientists stepping into these environments.  Ray Breed (High Performance Manager, North Melbourne Football Club) opened the event with his keynote address, and was joined by Tom Reddin (High Performance Manager, Melbourne Heart Football Club), Sarah Clement (Strength & Conditioning Professional / Exercise Programming Unit Chair, Deakin University), and David Parkin (decorated AFL Player, former Senior Coach…all-around AFL and Australian sport legend!), with all taking part in a discussion panel later on in the evening.

It was also an excellent opportunity for academics from C-ESS / the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences (Dr Paul Gastin, Assoc. Prof. Michael Spittle), and the School of Management and Marketing (Assoc. Prof. Pamm Phillips) to showcase the considerable body of Deakin research that is underway or has been completed within the football context.  Quite something to see the breadth of work across such varied disciplines as skill acquisition and motor learning, training and competition load monitoring, elite sporting performance, junior sport and junior athlete development, sporting governance and policy implementation.  Pleasing to see several of my current and former undergraduate students attending the evening, and hopefully getting a taster of the opportunities they can explore within the Honours program for 2013.

Here are my sketchnotes from the evening:

Ray Breed spoke of the application of sport science in managing the players at North Melbourne Football Club, and how the evolution in science and technology has “levelled up” their capacity to monitor athletes and individualise their training and competition loads.

Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Ray Breed, North Melbourne FC | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)

Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Ray Breed, North Melbourne FC (page 2/3) | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)

Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Ray Breed, North Melbourne FC (page 3/3) | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)After Ray’s insightful presentation, my PhD Supervisor Dr Paul Gastin took to the “stage” to talk about the important reciprocal relationship between sports science research and application.  What grabbed my attention was the performance model presented by Paul, to illustrate the avenues for sports science researchers and practitioners to explore together:

Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Dr Paul Gastin, Deakin University | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)Following on from Paul, Assoc. Prof Michael Spittle and Assoc. Prof. Pamm Phillips spoke of their involvement with research in football.  I didn’t get any notes down, but it was great to get a feel for what’s happening just outside of my own sphere.  As a PhD student, it’s easy to fence yourself in, so it’s always a welcome privilege to hear about the other innovative research that is underway within C-ESS.

Finally, the event concluded with a discussion panel.  Here are my sketchnotes from what was my favourite part of the evening:

Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Discussion Panel (page 1/4) | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS) Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Discussion Panel (page 2/4) | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS) Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Discussion Panel (page 3/4) | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)

Science in Football Symposium - Sketchnotes | Discussion Panel (page 4/4) | Centre for Exercise and Sports Science (C-ESS)All in all a fantastic event, full of invaluable insights from those who are “at the coal face” and have first-hand knowledge of the unique opportunities and challenges afforded by the growth of sport science in football, at all competitive levels.