U.S. Figure Skating's automated monitoring of jump loads in training

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avatar credit: @miyan5605
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Feb 27, 2012
Excerpts from Lynn Rutherford's article about a USOPC virtual conference last month:

... Beyond performance, a key goal of the USOPC sports technology team is to use data analytics to help prevent injuries.

... Lindsay Slater, sports sciences manager for U.S. Figure Skating, delivered a presentation on how her NGB uses accelerometer-based technology to understand jump loads, both to help athletes perfect their jumps and to prevent injuries.

... Slater and her colleagues in U.S. Figure Skating’s high-performance group provide Olympic-track athletes with sensors, about the size of a watch face, to clip on to their hips during on-ice practices. Real-time information is gathered by the app and sent to Slater ...

“This is a way to automate the (data-gathering) process so I know how many jumps athletes are doing, both performance-based and then for those returning after an injury,” Slater said. ...

Slater ... envisions a day when she can get a time-stamped estimate of jump height and air time on every jump a skater does in practice, to deliver timely training suggestions.

“For some athletes, it’s getting them to rotate faster, so we can hopefully include triple axels or quads in the future,” Slater said. “For others, they have a different jump technique where they’re not getting a lot of height and they’re clearly relying on really fast jump speeds to accomplish the jump. So, for some athletes, we’re working on power and getting a little more height, so they have less reliance on the peak velocity measure.”...



Although Lynn's article is from Nov 12, I did not come across it until today. I do not recall seeing it posted on GS before?
And I could not readily find an existing thread suitable for it.
 
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drivingmissdaisy

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Feb 17, 2010
I like that they're investing in technology, because these predictive models get better with more data. But sometimes I feel like technology isn't always the answer. One skater might feel fine after doing x number of jumps, whereas another might get injured doing far fewer than that. Athletes listening to their body would probably be the best way to avoid injuries.
 

lappo

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Feb 12, 2016
I like that they're investing in technology, because these predictive models get better with more data. But sometimes I feel like technology isn't always the answer. One skater might feel fine after doing x number of jumps, whereas another might get injured doing far fewer than that. Athletes listening to their body would probably be the best way to avoid injuries.
I do agree with you on principle, even though calculating training loads is used in other disciplines such as rhytmic gymnastics (I saw an interview with the Averina twins, current world and vice-world champions, who explained that checking their daily loads based on their parameters is the first thing they do while starting their training). So I don't know, maybe it could be helpful for those kind of athletes who have an hard time understanding their limits or want to jump, jump, jump even if their physical condition say otherwise...those who cannot put limits to themselves (or to their coaches).
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
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Coincidentally, this morning's new article about Nathan Chen says:

... He is majoring in statistics and data science, which he initially selected as a placeholder major but is now likely to pursue all the way through to graduation. Though it was a challenging choice for a placeholder major, Chen enjoys statistics and is excited about the wide array of options it presents him. He has considered applying it to finance or biostatistics – or even a role with U.S. Figure Skating or the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee related to jump count tracking and applying rotational velocity data to skaters' training methods. ...


Which suggests that he does consider jump analytics to be valuable. :)



Part of the reason that I posted Lynn Rutherford's Team USA article is that I have seen comments spread over a multitude of GS threads about the need for research on jump loads in relation to injury.
I expect that the USFS data are being used not only to guide individual skaters in making adjustments to training on an ongoing basis, but also to gain a broader and longer-term perspective across a number of elite skaters.

I also hope that data from the sensors and app will be of use in improving technique.
 
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drivingmissdaisy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Coincidentally, this morning's new article about Nathan Chen says:

... He is majoring in statistics and data science, which he initially selected as a placeholder major but is now likely to pursue all the way through to graduation. Though it was a challenging choice for a placeholder major, Chen enjoys statistics and is excited about the wide array of options it presents him. He has considered applying it to finance or biostatistics – or even a role with U.S. Figure Skating or the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee related to jump count tracking and applying rotational velocity data to skaters' training methods. ...

Which suggests that he does consider jump analytics to be valuable. :)
It would be really interesting hearing more about Nathan's perspective. He suffered that injury during his exhibition program at Nationals that took him off the ice for awhile, but then came back and drastically increased the variety of quads he competed with. I wonder what changes he made to his regimen that allowed him to push himself beyond what he was doing before that injury.
 
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