Sport Scientist Catapult

Matthew Pell is a senior applied sport scientist at Catapult, a leading provider of performance technology solutions for sports organizations worldwide. With over a decade of experience in strength and conditioning, sport science, and high-performance coaching, Matt has worked with renowned athletes in Australian Rules Football (AFL), rugby, and basketball. In this blog post, we’ll explore Matt’s career, top tips for strength and conditioning coaches, his use of tactical periodization in AFL, methods to get buy-in from athletes who dislike the gym, favorite acceleration drills, and tips for delivering clear presentations.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Matt’s top tips for developing strength & conditioning coaches wanting to gain work experience in elite sport
  • Matt explains the use of tactical periodization in AFL
  • Successful methods he used to get buy-in for athletes who don’t like the gym
  • His favorite acceleration drills for athletes
  • Tips and tricks to deliver a clear message during a presentation

Matt’s Career

Matt started in sport science and strength and conditioning while studying for a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at Deakin University. He later completed his Master’s in High-Performance Sports at the Australian Catholic University, where he worked with top athletes.

After his studies, Matt worked as a strength and conditioning coach, including at the Carlton Football Club in the AFL. In 2011, he joined Catapult, where he currently works as a senior applied sport scientist, optimizing athlete performance using their performance technology solutions.

Top Tips for Developing Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Matt shares his top tips for strength and conditioning coaches looking for work experience in elite sports. Key takeaways include networking, working hard, being open to feedback, and staying updated with the latest research.

Tactical Periodisation in AFL

Tactical periodization is a training method that focuses on developing a team’s tactical abilities through specific drills and exercises. Matt explains how he uses this method in AFL to enhance teams’ on-field performance, breaking down the game into specific phases and using drills to simulate those situations.

Successful Methods for Getting Buy-In from Athletes Who Don’t Like the Gym

Getting buy-in from athletes who dislike the gym can be challenging. Matt shares successful methods, such as understanding athletes’ motivation, making training fun, providing individualized plans, and utilizing technology like GPS tracking devices.

Favorite Acceleration Drills for Athletes

Matt’s favorite acceleration drills include resisted sprint starts, split stance jumps, and standing broad jumps. These exercises can help athletes improve their speed and explosiveness off the mark.

Tips and Tricks to Deliver a Clear Message During a Presentation

As a senior applied sport scientist, Matt often gives presentations to athletes, coaches, and professionals. He recommends knowing your audience, keeping it simple, using visuals, and practicing extensively for effective and clear delivery.


Matt Pell’s expertise in sport science and strength and conditioning, along with his work at Catapult, has made him a valuable resource for optimizing athlete performance. Whether you’re a coach or a presenter, his insights and advice can help you excel in your field.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

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