3D Motion Analysis (3DMA) is a precise and objective measuring tool used to analyze human movement.  The motion analysis method we use measures six degrees of freedom and is used to assess Functional Biomechanics for:

  • Performance Evaluation

  • Injury Potential

Typically, how fast an athlete skates or runs or how far a ball is hit or how fast it is served or thrown has been the measure of performance and performance potential. Training concepts follow these ideas of measurement and train for superficial gains in speed and strength without considering biomechanical function.

Physical screening, examination and testing is an excellent way of quantify the strength, size, endurance and even power production capacity of an athlete – the SIZE of the engine. 3DMA addresses the EFFICIENCY of the engine – evaluating HOW an athlete skates, runs, jumps, shoots, hits, or throws.

Consider this: research in sports science has shown that in most cases muscular output and joint speed between high end athletes are the same. While one athlete may be more efficient in movement or superior physically to another athlete, the fact remains there is limited variation in how the human body can move in the act of performing a given task such as skating or shooting. It is neuro-motor coordination (nerve-muscle sequencing) and biomechanics that makes the DIFFERENCE in performance outcomes: the difference that establishes how high, how fast, how quick, how hard.

3DMA is a direct assessment of biomechanical function and will help make the difference in your players’ – and team’s – performance.

The evaluation process uses standard video cameras allowing for un-tethered and un-restricted data collection – NO MARKERS, NO WIRES. Data can be captured in all environments of interest including controlled and uncontrolled situations: indoor, outdoor, practice and game situations.

How 3DMA Works for You

Player Development

In hockey, as with most contact sports, there is a certain level of unavoidable risk for injury. Biomechanical inefficiencies or breakdowns, however, create physical strain and wear on the athlete’s body that increases their potential for injury. So, even if a player’s strength and speed improve, injury potential will rise if inefficiencies remain along with compensatory movement patterns. Efficient biomechanics will improve performance and decrease the potential for injury.

When utilizing 3DMA of biomechanics, crucial information is gained on performance as well as injury potential.

It will allow trainers and coaches pinpoint biomechanical breakdown or physical inefficiencies and their places of origin. When combined with standard physical testing, 3DMA will enable trainers and coaches to determine the most effective courses of action for each athlete at an individual level.

In addition, training concepts can be lifted to a whole new level – taking into consideration not only standard measures of increases in speed and strength but also BIOMECHANICAL function. Changing biomechanics and creating more efficient movement can now have purposeful and direct impact on individual performance that goes beyond general strength and conditioning.

3DMA can provide you with the edge that makes the difference in individual and team performance and enabling you to create players more resistant to injury.

Scouting

Successful scouting breeds success on the ice. 3DMA can be a key element in assessing prospects for your team.

Analyzing a player’s functional biomechanics i.e. a skater’s ability to accelerate from a dead stop, gives information about the player’s ability to change direction and to accelerate and stabilize their core. The analysis addresses the player’s inherent quickness and their inherent physical potential to perform a specific skill; their ability to move their centre of mass explosively in multiple directions. If a player lacks the ability to change direction and transfer power effectively, their potential for injury is greater, carrying implications towards risk versus potential when weighed in conjunction with other information gathered on a typical prospect.

When this information is used in combination with the standard information about the athlete’s physical strength, speed, endurance and intellect; the careful analysis and experience of scouts and a management team now gain a significant additional piece of the puzzle that establishes whether an athletic prospect will become a financial asset or liability.

Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

As stated previously, the nature of contact sports such as hockey creates a certain level of unavoidable risk to injury. Injuries are unavoidable. However, 3DMA can assist athletes regain their pre-injury form and help prevent recurrent and compensatory injuries that often occur as an athlete strives be as good as they were prior to the injury.

Traditional medical and rehabilitative measurement parameters will consist of evaluation of muscular function, passive and active range of motion, strength and speed in activity without pain. While all are essential parameters of evaluation, none of them speak to the biomechanics which, again, make the DIFFERENCE in performance outcomes.

An elite athlete may return to pain free skating and shooting. However, if compensatory biomechanics exist from weaknesses resultant from an old injury, these compensations amount to less efficient performance to produce the same outcome of speed, agility and quickness. Thus, compensatory injuries are a significant risk.

A baseline 3D evaluation of an elite athlete’s biomechanics provides medical and training staff a road map to bring an injured athlete back to pre-injury status. Additionally in conjunction with standard physical evaluation it provides medical staff a definitive measurement of an athletes return to pre-injury status.

Athletes develop motor (nerve-muscular coordination/sequencing) patterns around physical weaknesses and/or limitations. While training and rehab can eliminate those weaknesses, neither automatically result in retraining of the learned motor patterning.
3DMA helps with the re-establishment of proper motor patterning – the final, difference-making piece in the injury recovery and rehab process and player development process.

Applying 3DMA

We can evaluate athlete in a live setting within their own environment. We have evaluated hockey players in Copps Collesium, the bullpen of the Rogers Center and on the T box of a professional golf tour.

The evaluation process uses standard video cameras allowing for un-tethered and un-restricted data collection – NO MARKERS, NO WIRES. Data can be captured in all environments of interest including controlled and uncontrolled situations: indoor, outdoor, practice and game situations.

Organizations

3DMA is a measurement and analysis tool which can provide key additional information and insight to coaches, scouts, medical staff and strength and conditioning personnel. It enhances traditional evaluations involving effective physical screens and medical testing.

The primary focus of 3DMA involves an objective measurement of the Biomechanics of Skating/Running/Throwing – the ability of the athlete to efficiently create explosive power while stabilizing and moving their centre of mass in multiple directions. A baseline evaluation of each player allows for the development of a plan to enhance their movement efficiency, minimize injury risk and/or re-establish effective mechanics after an injury occurs while preventing compensatory injuries.

3DMA technology is revolutionary in its application to sports development, but the technology itself is well established in sports science and human motion research.

Answer these questions:

  • What is it worth to your organization to reduce the number of man-games lost to injury by both reducing the injury risk for your players and ensuring injured players return faster to their pre-injury status?

  • What is it worth to your organization to improve your ability to evaluate one prospect over another?

  • What is it worth to your organization to gain an edge in your player development by enhancing your current strength and conditioning programs?

3DMA is worth the investment. The risks are minimal – the rewards could be great.
The difference between success and failure is a very fine line.

Find out how 3DMA could be a difference-maker