A Yorkshire business is using motion capture technology to develop the next generation of footballers, thanks to a joint research project with Teesside University.
Huddersfield-based Pro Sport Support Ltd is taking part in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University to investigate athletic movement in young footballers.
The project has developed an Athletic Movement Analysis Tool (AMAT) which uses technology more commonly found in games systems such as the XBox to analyse how the player moves.
Using this technology, Pro Sport Support can develop bespoke training programmes which can maximise the player’s movement efficiency and reduce the likelihood of injury.
AMAT has already attracted attention from some of the biggest names in world football.
KTP is a world-leading programme part-funded by Innovate UK that helps businesses succeed by connecting them to the UK’s rich academic resources. It is a partnership between a business seeking expertise, a university and a recently qualified graduate – known as an Associate.
Pro Sport Support was founded in 2009 by Guy Parkin and has worked with more than 2,500 young football players in 15 academies, providing an individual approach to young player development.
Guy said: “Using AMAT we’ve developed seven tests that can quickly and accurately measure a player’s movement skills which allows us to automatically develop a bespoke training plan specifically for that player.
“By getting accurate information on the player’s movement we can design the right interventions to ensure that they work more efficiently.
“We launched it at an international industry conference and had interest and orders from clubs all over the world, including some of the biggest names in football.”
Mihkel Laas, an MSc Strength and Conditioning graduate from Teesside University, joined Pro Sport Support as the KTP Associate developing AMAT with support from Matt Portas, a senior lecturer in sport and exercise.
Matt said: “This has been an incredibly successful KTP.
“Our next step is to look at ways we can use exergaming technology to develop player movement once it has been analysed using AMAT infrared motion tracking system.
“We will also use the knowledge developed by the KTP to inform our curriculum which will directly benefit our students.”
Teesside University has strong links with professional sport and has an ongoing partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club. The two organisations are working together to promote the education and business expertise for which the University is renowned to national and international audiences, as well as the ambition and sporting excellence of the football club.
For more information on how Teesside University can help your business visit www.tees.ac.uk/theforge.