Before Pete Parise finally left to Puerto Rico last Friday, he had been training nonstop, trying to get his body into even better shape for the start of next season. He had been doing his training at Athletes Advantage, a state of the art indoor sports performance training facility located in South Florida. On October 31, 2009, the facility welcomed Dynamic Athletics Research Institute (DARI) in order to check out their Motion Capture Technology.
When I was first contacted in July by Bob Apprill of DARI Sports, I was not sure about his product. The email I received from Bob seemed like a whole lot of gibberish. I am happy that I followed up on that initial communication, however. Here is part of what he said:
I represent DARI Sports (darisports.com), who has developed a new method to perform biomechanical analysis. This process has been developed specifically for athletes for the purpose of evaluating and increasing performance. Although there are various kinematic methods in place, we provide dynamic kinetic data never before achieved. Traditional methods involve the use of a force plate, and are relatively inaccurate. DARI‘s analysis produces incredibly precise, and applicable, data in a much more concise manner. Although revolutionary, there are already several professional and collegiate athletes taking advantage of this new technology.
It sounded pretty interesting, and Pete Parise agreed to being a test subject for the new technology. Just before Parise was tested at the Athletes Advantage facility, DARI Sports was visiting the University of Tennessee and collecting data on Freshman runningback, Bryce Brown.
On the morning of October 31, Pete Parise was the man being studied. At first glance it looked like something out of a video game, with Pete in a 32 point reflective spandex suit, surrounded by cameras and laptops. Over a two hour period, the researchers at DARI put Parise through a series of tests from biomechanical evaluation, to a movement based athletic test and a sports specific fatigue program. Parise would throw, then the staff at DARI would fatigue him and then repeat the process. While throwing, DARI’s motion-capture system recorded every movement made by Parise from the beginning of his pitch to the end. The cameras immediately sent the information in 3-D format to the laptop recording all the information.
After the testing, Ed Smith of Athletes Advantage stated, “The progressive fatigue protocol to demonstrate the effects of fatigue on throwing mechanics was unique and beneficial to our athletes.” The staff at Athletes Advantage received a detailed report of the findings. These findings will further assist in Parise’s off-season development.
In a world where every athlete is looking to gain the smallest advantage over their competitors, the tools that DARI Sports provides can serve as a great value. This is especially true as athletes are getting smart about staying away from performance enhancing drugs that have a great risk of jeopardizing their careers and their lives.
I would like to thank Bob Apprill and the rest of the team at DARI Sports for making this testing event possible. For more information about DARI Sports, head over to their website: darisports.com. A picture of Pete throwing during his testing is below.