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Dr. Oliver named President-Elect of ABBS

Dr. Oliver named President of American Baseball Biomechanics Society

School of Kinesiology Professor Gretchen Oliver, director of the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab, is now serving as president of the American Baseball Biomechanics Society.

The American Baseball Biomechanics Society, or ABBS, is a not-for-profit organization that was established in February 2020. The first purpose of the organization is to provide valid, valuable biomechanical information to baseball players, coaches, teams, and organizations. The second purpose of the organization is to set standards for biomechanical evaluations and analyses within a baseball setting.

Learn more about ABBS at


Two Undergraduate Research Fellowships Awarded to
SMML Students

The Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory is fortunate to have several undergraduate research assistants working on a variety of projects with Dr. Oliver and their respective doctoral student mentor. This year, we are especially excited for Maia Engelkes and Trent Agee for being award fellowships for their proposed research projects! Maia is studying the relationship between stride mechanics and collegiate softball hitting performance, while Trent is determining the
relationship between field tests and youth baseball hitting performance. They will both be presenting their findings at the Auburn University Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spring 2023.

Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory collaborates with Auburn University Softball and Baseball Teams

This fall, the Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory was busy working with Auburn University softball and baseball athletes to provide reports on pitching, hitting, and throwing performance. Athlete reports specifically provide feedback on range of motion, strength, mechanics, and ball metrics from Rapsodo®. We look forward to continuing this collaboration
with the goal of enhancing athlete injury prevention and performance enhancement strategies.


Dr. Oliver served as Keynote and Invited Speaker at several National and International Conferences

The Overhead Athlete Symposium – Hosted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Dr. Oliver was the keynote speaker at the Overhead Athlete Symposium hosted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The goal of the conference was to provide evidence-based evaluation and rehabilitation strategies for youth overhead throwing athletes. Dr. Oliver specifically presented on five topics including (1) implementing field tests for baseball and softball athletes, (2) the kinetic chain theory, (3) softball pitching and injury mitigation, (4) softball pitching, performance, and workload, (5) comparing the sports of baseball and softball.


Costa Rica’s 10th Annual Research Symposium

Dr. Oliver was an invited speaker at Costa Rica’s 10th annual research symposium. Her presentation was titled, "The Kinetic Chain Approach to Upper Extremity Dynamic Movement in Attempt for Injury Prevention." She attended the conference with Auburn University School of Kinesiology’s director, Dr. Rudisill, as well as associate professor Dr.


International Shoulder Group Conference

Dr. Oliver also had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the prestigious International Shoulder Group Conference held in the Netherlands. The International Shoulder Group is a technical group of the International Society of Biomechanics. The title of her keynote presentation was "The Past, Present, and Future of Baseball and Softball Research."


Doctoral Student Presents at International
Shoulder Group Conference

Yuki, a first-year doctoral student, also presented at the International Shoulder Group Conference held in the Netherlands. His oral presentation was titled "A comparison of trunk energy flow, shoulder distraction force, and pitch speed between youth and collegiate softball pitchers." Yuki has over 15 years of experience as a baseball athlete and is excited to continue his research focused on developing baseball and softball upper extremity injury prevention strategies.


The Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory Publishes Four Articles in the American Journal of Sports Medicine

The American Journal of Sports Medicine is deemed one of the most esteemed sports medicine journals in the world, and four Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory students had first-author manuscripts accepted from 2021-2022. First-authors include Dr. Friesen, Dr. Downs-Talmage, Dr. Bordelon, and Anthony Fava (current PhD student). You can find the titles and links to articles below.


Visiting Scholar from the Netherlands Joins the SMML for
Fall 2022 Semester

Thomas van Hogerwou is a master’s student studying biomedical engineering at the

Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He was born in the Netherlands

]but spent his childhood growing up in Florida where he fell in love with baseball.

Thomas moved back to the Netherlands, choose to study mechanical engineering,

and became president of the Delft student baseball club. The club soon received an

email asking for volunteers to come in and participate in a biomechanical study on

baseball pitchers. Before that point, Thomas was unaware that Delft had such a
lab and participated in these kinds of projects. He later chose to study biomedical

engineering to gain the knowledge needed to participate in these studies as a

researcher. It quickly became evident that while the quality of the research he

performed in the Netherlands was high, they lacked the baseball population that

America has. Thomas’ professor suggested doing an internship at the SMML to get

the chance to work with an elite level baseball population. While working within an

SEC sports program was motivation enough, he also always wanted to see what

college life was like in America. Thomas was then introduced to Dr. Oliver, who invited him to intern at the SMML for the fall semester. Here is what Thomas had to share about his experience in the SMML: “I learned much in my time here. Before coming to Auburn, all my research projects had been solo endeavors. The motivation that working as part of a team of like-minded individuals granted me was fantastic. Being able to talk biomechanics with fellow baseball researchers helped me quickly find flaws in my research approaches, as well as provided a totally different background with which to analyze my results. Conversations
with athletes and coaches provided me the chance to learn how working with professional teams may look, and what a future job as a biomechanist may entail. I loved my time here and am so happy to have met the wonderful people working here at Auburn.”


Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Downs-Talmage, who recently completed her PhD in the Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory, was awarded a $250,000 grant to build a human performance laboratory at Northern State University! She looks forward to continuing research related to baseball and softball injury prevention and performance enhancement. We are thankful for her ongoing collaboration with Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory projects, and she was recently elected to serve as a director for the American Baseball Biomechanics Society. Keep up the great work, Jess.


Dr. Plummer, former SMML PhD student, was recently hired as the San Diego Padre’s Quality Assurance Specialist for Player Health and Performance! She also continues to collaborate on Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory projects and served as Secretary of the American Biomechanics Society. Congratulations, Hillary!


Dr. Wasserberger, former SMML PhD student, was recently promoted to principal sport scientist at Driveline Baseball! He started his career at Driveline Baseball as a sports science intern in 2021 while collecting his dissertation data on their elite level pitching population. Congratulations, Kyle!

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