Roessingh Research & Development (RRD), in Enschede, the Netherlands investigates the technological and methodological (im)possibilities of application for coaching in competitive rowing, in collaboration with Dutch rowing clubs of Protheus (Delft), Euros (Enschede), the Free University of Amsterdam, Delft Technical University and the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOC/NSF).
Over the last 15 years the Dutch research group ‘Ambulatory 3D Motion Analysis’ at RRD has been developing ambulatory methodologies and applications around inertial sensing. Apart from applications in rehabilitation and ergonomics, RRD also targets applications in sports coaching. All research and developments are performed in close cooperation with the other nine scientific and industrial partners of the Dutch FreeMotion research consortium.
Application in rowing
In collaboration with Dutch rowing clubs of Protheus (Delft), Euros (Enschede), the Free University of Amsterdam, Delft Technical University and the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOC/NSF), RRD is currently investigating the technological and methodological (im)possibilities for coaching in competitive rowing. The aim is to develop a tool that provides sufficiently accurate, relevant information to the rowing coach about the exact movements, timing and behavior of the rowers during actual rowing on the water. Such information is otherwise very hard or even impossible for the rowing coach to obtain and assess. This valuable source of information is available to the coach on which to specify coaching decisions and activities. Moreover, the tool can be used in real time, or, if desired, in discussions with the rowers afterwards.
The first results of this study were presented at a rowing conference in Delft in the autumn of 2007 and discussed with members of the Dutch rowing community in workshops. In these sessions, a general methodology was presented, followed by possible applications in other fields. Finally, results taken from a series of actual rowing trials were used to open discussions about further developing such a tool for rowing coaches as well as future direction. An ad hoc forum of interested professionals was formed to take part in the process of refining the tool, in terms of identifying a visualization of results, as well as which parameters should be represented for this application.
The rowing coach application was initially derived from a combination of two other devices, the IC-Coach and the ACL-Coach. The IC-Coach is an application, developed for coaching low back pain patients in back loading behavior, and ACL-Coach for monitoring and coaching ACL surgery patients.
In this case, full body inertial sensing data from the MVN suit was combined with 2 synchronized wireless camera video streams and a first choice of essential graphics.
Experiments were performed on a rowing ergometer, in the seat fixed to the pier and in a skiff on the water (see photo on the right side). The first impressions of a rowing professional encouraged a ‘GO’ for the project.
Chris Baten - Group 3D Ambulatory Motion Analysis, Roessingh Research and Development.