Monday, July 16th, 2012
Cool series of sports infographics from Planet K2, have a look!
Designed by Accept & Proceed for Planet K2
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Press release from Loughborough University:
With a punishing training schedule and six matches under their belts, the rest and recovery strategies of the French and New Zealand teams will be as crucial as their match play tactics in the Rugby World Cup final this Sunday. Innovative sports science technology developed at Loughborough University has been helping many of the All Blacks squad to maintain peak performance.
The Canterbury Crusaders make up one third of the All Blacks Team. The devastating Christchurch earthquake in February 2011 placed a massive strain on the Crusaders, with their home ground closed for the entire season, they effectively played every match as an away game. However, using the Loughborough expertise, the Crusaders were able optimize their recovery in order to reach the finals of the national championship and have 10 of their players selected for the All Blacks Rugby World Cup challenge, with Richie McCaw as captain.
The innovative recovery expertise is the work of Dr Vern Neville, a professional America’s Cup sailor, scientist and coach who spent over a decade analyzing the behaviours and training patterns of elite athletes from the worlds of rugby, sailing, soccer, cycling and Formula 1.
Honing his research in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science at Loughborough University (Team GB’s Olympic preparation base), Dr Neville sought programming expertise from Harvard and Stanford University alumni to create an intuitive web and smartphone based software for intelligent recovery. The software uses 13 daily evidence based inputs including resting heart rate, sleep, hydration, mood, appetite, muscle soreness and illness and converts these using smart analytics into a single recovery score. This enables athletes and teams to decide how hard to train and how much they should rest.
Commenting on the impact of the Loughborough expertise, Ashley Jones, the Canterbury Crusaders Physical Performance Co-Ordinator / Strength & Conditioning Coach from 2004 – 11, said: “With the use of Restwise (the software) we were able to ascertain which players needed extra sessions for recovery and also seeing which recovery modalities worked best with players, so in effect individualising the recovery as we do our physical training.”
“Recovery isn’t just important, it’s a biological necessity,” said Dr Neville. “Too little recovery and you slowly grind yourself down, risking both impaired performance and lowered immune function. Too much recovery and you don’t introduce enough stress to trigger physiological adaptation. You don’t get fitter, stronger and faster.” He continued: “Without a way to consistently and easily monitor recovery during high demand training or competition periods such as during the Rugby World Cup, even the best trained teams are at risk of over-fatigue or injury. This could well be the deciding factor in the outcome of the World Cup.”
Restwise has already been part of 38 world championship wins, gaining the respect of coaches and practitioners from the world of professional rugby, cycling and sailing as well as a host of Olympic sports.
Professor Myra Nimmo, Head of Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences where Vern undertook his PhD commented: “Restwise is an excellent example of how our world leading scientific research can be translated to deliver real impact in optimising sport performance.”
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Ahead of his return to competitive action, Tiger Woods has been working with one of the Directors within NIKE’s Innovation Kitchen, Tobie Hatfield, and NIKE Golf on a FREE-inspired prototype shoe that Tiger will wear during this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Originally developed in 2004 by a group led by Hatfield, NIKE FREE is a ‘natural motion’ technology that is designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot, coupled with the protection and traction of a lightweight performance shoe.
The FREE-inspired elements in this prototype model allow greater movement for the front of the foot, increasing stability with mobility. “This will help give Tiger greater stability as he addresses the ball. The freedom of movement that natural motion technology delivers will also allow more power to be released through the swing rather than through the body – which can happen when your feet are too static.” said Hatfield.
“I love the feel of NIKE FREE for training, so I asked Tobie if it was possible to bring that technology to the golf course. It’s exciting to see a conversation like that come to life and I look forward to wearing them this week,” added Tiger.
The majority of the upper consists of a polyurethane coated stretch fabric, also seen within the construction of NIKE Basketball’s Hyperfuse 2011. Part of the heel is created from recycled NIKE Air Max units melted into thread and then woven together to create a strong, breathable textile material. The FREE-inspired outsole is directly taken from NIKE Sportswear’s Special Field Boot designed for first-responders.
This model also has a half heel counter in both shoes to give more stability on the lateral side, particularly in follow through. The shoe also incorporates NIKE Flywire (first introduced in Beijing in 2008) attached to each lace loop, which when pulled tight envelope the foot for maximum comfort and stability.
Monday, July 11th, 2011
According to Titleist’s sports scientists Rory McIlroy has a reverse hip rotation faster than amateurs in the normal direction. Interested? Check out this video:
Article by Bryan Roberts
Monday, July 4th, 2011
TrackMan has become synonymous with the world of golf, with the system being used for club fitting, coaching sessions, enhancing TV viewers experience of golf tournaments and golf related research. The sophisticated radar technology has enabled coaches, club fitters, golfers etc. to gather, what is viewed as critical information regarding the golfers club and ball characteristics before, during and after impact. Since their initial release, TrackMan have worked closely with their customers and Fredrik Tuxen (co-founder and CTO) remarked that they had seen TrackMan data “…play a more and more important role in teaching and player development” (TrackMan newsletter, 2011). The insight gained from such encounters with leading golfers and coaches then inspired the development of the TrackMan Performance Studio! (launched at the PGA merchandise show, Florida, January ‘11)
Video is a common tool for many golf coaches (as mentioned in a previous blog ‘Bridging the gap between biomechanics and coaching’) and now the TrackMan Performance Studio provides a unique combination of video and real-time golf swing data. The uniqueness in technology comes from the ability to synchronise and layer 3D imaging of ball flight, club path, face angle etc over video of a golfer from a number of angles (supports up to 6 cameras). The video cameras are calibrated with the TrackMan unit radar, used for target alignment, which then allows the performance studio to illustrate on the video, ball flight etc based on the target line not the cameras view. Once calibrated, all cameras are triggered and cropped through the Performance Studio software. Additional features of the software also include analysis tools such as slow motion replays, drawing tools to highlight body positions/swing plane and comparison modes. Therefore, the software now integrates many of the coaches current coaching tools seamlessly!
For coaches the TrackMan Performance Studio can provide powerful insights into the golf swing however the limitation I see currently is the inability to synchronise high speed cameras other than the Casio EX-F1 (the choice camera for coaches) and standard DV cameras, which for research purposes may not be adequate. However, in time I am sure the software’s capabilities will expand to allow synchronisation of other high speed cameras. A final thought on this software is that even though it provides the unique 3D visualisation of club/ball data are we still not missing important 3D data of the golfer through the simplified 2D representation from video? An area I am currently investigating…