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The Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab

For scientists studying how the brain influences behavior and performance, there is no place like Nebraska.

The future of athletic performance is here. The Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory utilizes a multi-method, multi-disciplinary approach to athlete performance and health through technology and academic expertise. Through collaborative expertise, the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory strives to bring the best to the student-athletes of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In 2013, a 50,000-square-foot expansion of Nebraska's East Memorial Stadium brought together athletic and academic researchers in Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory (NAPL) under one roof to study human behavior and performance. The partnership is believed to be the nation's only joint, on campus athletic and academic research facility. The collaboration is a testament to Nebraska's commitment to student-athlete's performance, safety, and long-term health and well-being housed within East Memorial Stadium, allowing optimal accessibility for student-athletes, researchers, and coaching staffs.

Under the direction of Chris Bach, PhD, CSCS, the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory positions Nebraska as a leader in research on student-athlete performance, safety, long-term health and well-being. The NAPL team draws together researchers with diverse areas of expertise, including biomechanics, computer sciences, engineering, ergonomics, exercise physiology, nutrition, physical rehabilitation, psychology, sports science, and vision. Researchers collaborate with Nebraska Athletic coaches and staff, as well as colleagues from around the world to address areas that are critical to athletes and society.


The NAPL's broad agenda includes:

  • Investigating the impact of training techniques, therapeutic interventions, and nutrition on performance and recovery
  • Assessing the biomechanical impact of performance on the athlete's body
  • Harnessing biomarkers in saliva and blood to guide training
  • Developing technologies to reduce injury and improve performance
  • Identifying and reducing factors that lead to injuries and chronic conditions later in an athlete's life. 


When it Comes to Personal Performance, There is No Place like Nebraska…

Utilizing a multi-system, multi-measurement, multi-disciplinary model to approach challenges in athletic performance domains, the staff of the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory employ cutting-edge technology and academic expertise to address student-athlete performance, health, safety, and long-term well-being.

The NAPL includes simulated athletic environments for studying performance, incorporating a camera system to track human movement in 3D, force plates to measure ground-reaction forces, pulmonary and cardiovascular assessment and other state-of-the-art technology to assess salivary and blood biomarkers, investigate exercise capacity, and measure body composition.

Cutting-edge technology assesses the impact of training interventions on performance and identifies factors that predict injuries. Technologies that allow NAPL staff to assess athletes include the following:


Mark and Debra Classen Cardio Area James and Karen Linder
Dynamic Performance Center 
Thayer Family
Athletic Research Laboratory
The Classen Cardio Area includes a cardiometabolic cart, 12-lead electrocardiogram, lower extremity isokinetic machine, and fitness equipment. The dynamic performance center contains three surface areas for athletic performance assessments, including the Jerry Solomon basketball court. These surfaces have twelve force plates embedded in the floor along with twenty moveable motion capture cameras. An instrumented mat for gait analysis, EliteForm 3D motion capture cameras, and electromyography equipment allow NAPL staff to integrate various technologies into assessments, training, and analysis of athletic performance. The Thayer Family Athletic Research Lab houses a state-of-the-art bioscience laboratory, a body composition scanner, a research-grade ultrasound machine, and exam room spaces.