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Real-Time Feedback System for Alpine Skiers Help Improve Performance

18 September 2009 Wiley

Researchers have developed an effective real-time performance management and feedback system for alpine ski racers that allow skiers to better understand their carved turning skills and improve their performance.

A study in Sports Technology published by Wiley-Blackwell describes the development of the vLink Racing Computer System and investigates the effectiveness of this system.

The vLink Computer System consists of two articulated shuttles mounted on the edges of each ski which wirelessly transmits forward speed and lateral displacement data to an audio receiver that is worn by the skier. The system is able to precisely measure movement and convert the data into a real-time audible feedback.

"Timely and accurate feedback of athlete performance is a key contributing factor to improving athletic performance. Alpine skiers get their feedback primarily through coaches' comments and video analysis, which usually comes a few hours after the performance. With this new system, skiers are able to make immediate corrections to their technique and have instant feedback of their adjustment", said author Richard Kirby from Advanced Racing Computers, USA.

All of the twelve racers who participated in this field study agreed that the real-time feedback allowed them to better understand their carving technique, while 83% felt that the system had help them improve their carving skills after only a two-hour session.

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