Measurement, Feedback and Simulation

The use of sensor technology and the feedback of the measured information to the athlete are becoming increasingly important both during training and for strategic decision making during competition. Coaches and trainers are just beginning to see the potential value of these large amounts of acquired data. Moreover, information on performance can be used to motivate recreational athletes to push their personal boundaries. The use of simulators in sports is also evolving, offering both standardized training environments for elite sports, and a playful manner to enthusiasm recreational athletes.   The use of modern sensor technology offers the opportunity to give an athlete real time information on his performance, thereby enabling valuable feedback to adjust his position or technique.

The use of sensor technology for real-time feedback is used in various research projects within the TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute. For example, in the STW-funded project ‘real time feedback to improve skating performance’, the power of the push-off of the skater is measured using a special instrumented skate, and given in real time feedback to the skater. The skater can use this information instantly to perfect the timing of his push-off.   Along with the widespread use of sensors in sports comes a huge amount of data. Coaches and trainers are just beginning to see the potential value of this data, for example for strategic decision making in team sports, and for the optimization of training intensity.

This interest coincides with the focus on Big Data at the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Sciences. Future applications on the management of data and the development of statistical models can be of great value for athletes, and organizations such as the Giant Alpecin Cycling Team, KNVB and NeVoBo have already indicated their interest to collaborate on this subject. Also in the field of recreational sports insight in the data can be of great value, for example in the identification of the common points at which people start to lose interest in their sport.