What is Computerized Motion Analysis?

Video taping ≠ Computerized Motion Analysis

Computerized motion analysis can be used to determine how effectively an athlete moves. Sports scientist routinely use this technology to evaluate athletes for biomechanical breakdown and movement compensations. Such wastefulness in the body’s movement patterns can rob an athlete of peak efficiency, diminished power, contribute to earlier fatigue, or increase risk of injury.

Sport scientists have use this technology for decades on elite athletes, but rarely at elite basketball camps.  This technology is widely used to help athletes such as those training at the US Olympic Training Center or those playing for professional sports teams. Sports scientists in university environments also increasingly use these methods to help college athletes improve their performance.

Why Use Computerized Motion Analysis in Basketball at the “Grass Roots” Level”?

Quite simply, because doing so when players are young (and their central nervous systems have not yet finished developing) has the greatest possible positive impact on their performance as young adults.  Computerized motion analysis is used to identify strengths and weaknesses and athletic movement. This data is crucial to the development of effective training and skill development programs. It is also very useful in monitoring the progress of a training program, allowing for the comparison of performance data from one point in time to another.

The data captured through this technology provides insights into the ways an individual’s physical strength, coordination, and flexibility influence his or her shooting performance. This allows for objective quantification and evaluation of dynamic coordination while shooting. If we cannot measure, we cannot accurately diagnose. If we cannot measure, we are limited to, at best, informed trial and error.

Research quality movement analysis is now available to developing amateur athletes. By using multiple digital video cameras connected to powerful computers, sport sciences can accurately assess shooting performance. This assessment has great value for players interested in developing good shooting technique when they’re young, allowing them to more effectively build on this – and other basketball skills – as they age and mature.

Why Does Computerized Motion Analysis Help Improve Performance?

It takes the typical player roughly one second to shoot a jump shot, and within this time there are 9 phases. In short, there is a lot going on during this second.  Poor execution of any 1 of these 9 events will negatively influence shooting performance.  Errors in 2 or more events will consistently limit any athlete’s performance.

The Jump Shot (Captured in “Real Time”)

Research studies consistently show that this all occurs too quickly for detailed analysis using only the human eye.  Simply put, computerized motion analysis “slows down” any sporting movement, allowing sport scientists — and the athletes they are working with — to more easily wrap their heads around what they are viewing.   Sport scientists routinely use high speed digital video cameras to “slow down” activities such as the  running, jumping, throwing, and striking that occur very quickly during most sporting activities.  That’s the first step in using these scientific methods to improve athletic performance.

The Jump Shot (Captured Using Research Methods)

The D-One Shooting College uses high speed digital video cameras common in sport science research.  We use digital cameras capable of slowing down the hummingbird flight so that individual wing flaps are visible.  This allows our sport scientists at this elite basketball camp to evaluate each camper’s jump shot for biomechanical breakdown and movement compensations.  We then use validated teaching methods – based on the scientific area known as motor learning and control - to provide each camper with individualized instruction to improve his or her shot.

Keys to Consistency

D-One Shooting College: Better Basketball Through Sport Science