Dr Nat Benjanuvatra
Started at UWA: 2004
Improving athletic performance through research
One of the fascinating things about exercise and training is that people can respond very differently to the same mode of exercise. Coaches love using the age-old adage of ‘there is no substitution for hard work’ but it is also important to understand that hard work also doesn’t guarantee success.Dr Nat Benjanuvatra
Dr Nat Benjanuvatra’s interest in sport and exercise science began in the pool. As a competitive swimmer, he became interested in learning how the human body works and responds to different types of training stress. His curiosity led to a research career in physical conditioning, working with elite athletes as well as individuals with chronic conditions.
High-level athletic performance is a focus for Dr Benjanuvatra’s research. His work addresses optimising performance through a better understanding of movement and the capacities required to perform particular actions. His research initially assisted elite swimmers in developing aquatic skills and has evolved to include coaching practices and planning. The outcomes of his studies inform coaches, practitioners and individuals in developing best practice training methods.
From 2011 to 2013, he was the Program Director for UWA’s Uniswim learn to swim and coaching program. During his tenure, the program partnered the Western Australian Institute of Sport to form the Challenge High Performance Training Centre (Podium Performance Training Centre). He was part of the board until 2017 and is currently a member of the State Advisory Committee for Austswim, a national organisation for teaching swimming and water safety.
Dr Benjanuvatra is also an Associate Lecturer in the School of Human Sciences and was nominated for the Faculty Excellent in Coursework Teaching Award in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He won the Faculty of Science Excellence Award in Student Experience in 2016.
Dr Benjanuvatra has been supervising PhD students since 2010. He welcomes email enquiries from students whose research interests intersect with his own. Key areas of research include:
- resistance training for health and performance
- biomechanics and skill acquisition in swimming
- aquatic exercise for health outcomes