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When it comes to improving performance, seeing is believing

What if you could analyze your pitching motion, golf swing, or running mechanics with the same technology that professional athletes use to help them reach the top of their sport? You can, thanks to Dartfish performance analysis software, which is available to anyone who competes for glory or just for fun.

An eye-opening experience

Athletic trainers physical therapists, and coaches have been using Dartfish for almost 20 years. After videotaping the athlete in motion, they can use editing tools to:

  • Zoom in on specific movements.
  • Slow down the action or put it in reverse.
  • Compare two videos—of yourself, or of you and another athlete.
  • Superimpose one video on top of the other.
  • Show the same action from two different angles.
  • Measure distance, speed, and trajectories.

Joseph Neel, an athletic trainer with Kettering Health Network, uses a high-definition camera to take about two minutes of video while the athlete pitches a baseball, hits a golf ball, or runs on a treadmill. After using Dartfish editing tools, he sits down with the athlete to discuss areas for improvement.

“Many people come to me because their performance has leveled out, or they are experiencing the same types of injuries season after season,” says Neel. “For most people, this is the first time they have seen how they actually move. It is a real eye opener for them.”

Dartfish can help identify trends, mistakes, and weaknesses in an athlete’s form. For runners, this might mean over-striding or uneven weight distribution. For pitchers, problems can include late arm action or poor follow-through.

“I usually only need one Dartfish session to get an athlete back on track, although we may do a follow up,” Neel says.

Breaking bad habits

Dartfish can be very helpful for people who are receiving physical therapy. “I use Dartfish a lot with runners who have been sidelined because of a pulled muscle or an orthopedic surgery,” says Kristine Flais, a physical therapist at Kettering Health Network.  “Dartfish is a great tool. While watching the video analysis, patients can see their form and any breakdown in their technique.”

“This in turn assists in their recovery as they work toward returning to their sport,” she adds. “Usually the issues seen during video analysis are the same issues I’ve discovered during my examination and have discussed with them in their course of physical therapy. The visual feedback really helps the patient understand where the breakdown in form is occurring. It also helps them see the value of the plan I’ve established to correct the issues. This ultimately results in a better outcome for the patient, which is a successful return to running or another athletic activity.”

Kettering Health Network offers Dartfish at its orthopedic and sports medicine clinic on Far Hills Avenue in Kettering. To schedule an appointment call (937) 395-3905.

Learn more about Dartfish and other sports performance services available through Kettering Health Network.