Zhan (John) Liu | Springfield College

Zhan (John) Liu

Zhan (John) Liu

Professor of Physical Education
Zhan Liu
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Motor Behavior, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Knoxville, Tenn., 1993
  • Master of Arts in Motor Learning, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, Wuhan Institute of Physical Education, China, 1982

John Liu completed his post-doctoral study and research in rehabilitation and prevention of sport-related injuries at Springfield College in 2008. Liu has been teaching in the Department of Physical Education and Health Education at Springfield College since 1999, and has published two books and more than 80 research articles and abstracts. He has presented at more than 120 international, national, and regional conferences.

Research Interests
  • Motor learning and control
  • Assessment in physical fitness, motor skills, and sport performance
  • Development of children's fundamental motor skills and brain functions
  • Neuromuscular control and sport performance training
  • Prevention and rehabilitation of sport related injuries
Courses Taught
  • MOST 224 Motor Learning and Skill Acquisition
  • MOST 228 Sport Psychology
  • MOST 410 Assessment in Movement and Sport
  • MOST 624 Motor Learning and Control
  • RSCH 610 Foundation of Research Methods
  • RSCH 620 Educational Statistics I
Certifications and Memberships
  • Functional Movement Screening (FMS) Levels I & II
  • Former president of the International Chinese Society of Physical Activity and Health (ICSPAH)
  • Former member of the executive board, the International Association of Sport and Play for Young Children (IASPYC)
  • External Reviewer and chair of the Departmental Review and Benchmarking Panel, The Education University of Hong Kong
  • Invited advisor and expert, The Team China Office of the Chinese Olympic Committee
  • Member, the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) of America
  • Editorial Board Member, China Sport Science

Selected Works


  • Liu, T., Zhang, M., & Liu, Z. (2023). Sleep and emotion may facilitate the improvements of exercise on manual dexterity in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The 2023 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting and World Congress, Conference, May 30-June 2, Denver, CO. 
  • Liu, Z. (2022). Explosive Power Training for Basketball Players: New Ideas and Approaches. The 2022 International Symposium on Basketball Training. November 21, Beijing Sport University, P. R. China
  • Liu, Z. (2022). Practical Approaches to assessing functional and motor abilities of preschool children. The 2022 Regional Conference on development of physical fitness and motor abilities of children. Shanxi Strength and Conditioning Association, P. R. China. 
  • Zhang, M., & Liu, Z. (2021). Building a virtual physical education program with personalized system of instruction. SHAPE America National Convention & Expo, April, 2021, Online Presentation. 
  • Liu, Z. (2021). Promoting Children’s Brain Development Through Motor Coordination Activities: Strategies and Approaches. The 2021 National Conference on Physical Fitness and Motor Development of Preschool Children. Changsha, Hunan, P. R. China, December 16-17. 
  • Liu, Z. (2021). Development of Explosive Power of Youth Athletes: Neuromuscular Perspectives. The 2021 Southeast Regional Conference on Youth Sports Training. Anhui, P. R. China, August 27-28. 
  • Liu, Z. (2021). Neuromuscular Approaches to Core Stability and Strength Training. The 2021 Southeast Regional Conference on Youth Sports Training. Anhui, P. R. China, August 27- 28. 
  • Liu, Z. (2021). Practical Approaches to Educating and Developing Physical Literacy of Children. The 2021 Southern Regional Physical Educators Conference. Xiamen, Fujian, P. R. China, July 26-27. 
  • Liu, Z. (2020). Enhancing the benefits of physical play and sports in preschool-aged children. Symposium, The 2020 Yokohama Sport Conference, Online. 
  • Zhang, M., & Liu, Z. (2020). The effectiveness of physical activity on motor skills in children with neurodevelopmental disorders: a meta-analysis. ACSM’s 67th Annual Meeting, Online.


  • Zhang M., Li, F., Wang, D., Ba, X., Liu, Z. (2023). Comparative efficacy of exercise interventions on motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease: A network meta- analysis. Front Aging Neurosci. DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2023.1071803 
  • Zhang M., Li, F., Wang, D., Ba, X., & Liu, Z. (2023). Mapping research trends from 20 years of publications in rhythmic auditory stimulation. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 20(1), 215. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20010215 
  • Li, F., Wang, D., Ba, X., Liu, Z., & Zhang M. (2022). The comparative effects of exercise type on motor function of patients with Parkinson Disease: A three-arm randomized trial. Front Human Neurosci. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.1033289 
  • Liu, T., Ma, H., Wassell, N., Liu, Z., & Zhang, M. (2022). Mapping Research Trends of Adaptive Sport from 2001 to 2020: A Bibliometric Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, 12644. Doi.org/10.3390 
  • Li, R., Liu, Z., Qu, P. & Li, X. J. (2021). The effects of motor skill intervention on fundamental motor skills in children from a rural area of China. China Sport Science, 41(2), 1-8. 
  • Zhang, M., Ma, H., Liu, Z., Smith, D. M., & Wang, X. (2021). The Effects of a 10-Week Neuromuscular Training on Postural Control in Elite Youth Competitive Ballroom Dancers: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Frontiers in Physiology, 12, 258. (IF: 3.367, DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2021.636209). 
  • Zhang, M., Liu, Z., Ma, H., & Smith, D. M. (2020). Chroniphysical activity for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and/or autism spectrum disorder in children: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 14 (IF: 2.512, DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.564886). 
  • Liu, Z. (2020). Implications of new findings on functions of the cerebellum for motor skill learning and performance from neuroscience perspectives. China Sport Science and T Technology, 56(1), 45-54. 
  • Wen, D., Hu, G., Chen, H., & Liu, Z., Hu, G., & Chen, H. (2019). Effects of different Protocols of high intensity interval training for VO2max improvements adults: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22, 941-947.