With fierce competition in athletics, sometimes a little helping hand is needed for kids to stand out and shine. At the NYU Langone sports performance and testing lab, kids are lining up for just that.
Take Daniel Dinerman, for instance. Fully wired up to measure his performance, Daniel is wearing 32 markers and is being evaluated with 13 cameras which are recording him in both 2-D, for a regular evaluation of his performance, as well as in 3-D, where he is represented by a stick figure to measure movements that the naked eye can’t see.
The cameras are evaluating Daniel’s movements to within a fraction of a millimeter.
Daniel is performing his pitches on a set of force plates that measure his push-off force, an important factor in both stride and pitching speed.
The testing platforms at NYU are geared to measure athletic performance as well as to prevent injury. As Heather Milton, exercise physiologist, explains: “We’re really looking at it, not only from how to maximize your pitching velocity or your drive in golfing, but also how you can do that most efficiently and effectively to reduce the chance of developing an injury.”
Currently, Milton and her team are focusing on sports with intense upper body involvement, such as golf and baseball. The tests are showing athletes how to move efficiently while reducing torque on the upper body.
Daniel hasn’t had an injury in six years and has been able to improve his form significantly. He credits the program for helping him maintain the proper mechanics of movement.
The program isn’t just for teens or adults. Athletic hopefuls of all ages can access the technology, like nine-year-old little leaguer Jake. Jake used this groundbreaking technology to analyze his pitching form. He admits he was pleased with the results of his analysis, explaining that he was able to see his movement and strength in real time as he pitched.
The technology isn’t cheap, but for aspiring athletic hopefuls like Jake and Daniel, the price tag is worth it. While Jake didn’t pay for his testing and analysis, generally using this groundbreaking technology can range from $450 for a one-time evaluation all the way up to $1300 for a package that includes follow-ups and recommendations from physiologists.