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Ethical Issues with Improving Performance II

Technology in Sport
by

Vas Ratusau

on 28 July 2013

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Transcript of Ethical Issues with Improving Performance II

Impact of Technology in Sport
Technology in Sport
Coaches have at their disposal a number of techniques that can aid training, skill development and performance. Some are ground-breaking technological developments, whereas others are ‘tried and true’ and inexpensive.
These various aids are designed to correct technique, create resistance, offer support or padding and improve performance. Many of them have revolutionised how sports are played and trained.
Use of Technology
Some technological innovations that have improved sports performance include:
• clothing (type of material, swimsuits, aerodynamics, shoes)
• protective equipment (tackle suits and bags, helmets, mouthguards, shin pads, shoulder pads)
• computer programs and software (statistics, performance simulators)
• electronic scoreboards and score sheets
• engineering technology at sporting venues (retractable roofs, modern seating, replay screens)
• equipment modifications (such as in cycling, surfing, sailing, cricket, tennis)
Training innovation
Lactate used to improve performance threshold testing
Lactate analysis
has been used by many athletes and physiologists over the last decade as a tool for predicting endurance performance. Specifically, the higher the percentage of max VO2, or the higher the pace at which the lactate threshold occurs, the fitter the athlete.
The maximal lactate steady state (or lactate threshold) is the best indicator of endurance performance as, generally, the athlete who achieves this at the higher effort level will be faster in an endurance event.
With information the coach can plan, control and monitor the training of athletes with a precision not available before.
Lactate testing provides the important information that enables the coach to individualise the intensity of each athlete’s workout and control the training so the athlete is able to reach performance objectives.
Use of Technology continued...
• testing procedures (max VO2, fl oat tanks, wind tunnels, sprint gates, beep tests)
• nutrition (high-energy food and drinks)
• heart-rate monitors and biofeedback (lactate threshold testing)
• training facilities (non-wave pools, specialised playing surfaces)
• video analysis and photographic equipment
• assignment of specific coaching staff (such as doctors, physiotherapists, psychologist)
• fitness equipment (treadmills, weight machines, sprinting sleds)
Use of Technology.
• rehabilitation equipment (artificial joints, ligaments and tendons, ultrasound, laser)
• media technologies (globalisation of sports, television, multimedia marketing companies)
• drugs (improving performance, avoiding testing)


These training innovations have enabled athletes to go faster and higher, and be stronger. World records are frequently broken these days; rarely do records stand for a number of years, as used to be the case. Winning performances depend on technology; but is the athlete or the technology responsible for the win
Biomechanical Analysis
Many coaches film the performances of athletes and teams so that they can evaluate the performance of individuals later using biomechanical analysis
By using visual recordings, the coach is able to replay movements, correct techniques and evaluate performance.
The coach is also able to assess the performance of the opposition.
Coaches, assistants and other athletes can watch the performance of certain individuals and complete a data sheet on them. They can record how many tackles an individual made, how much ground was made, how many successful kicks were made, and so on.
This type of statistical information is used to evaluate performances, isolate weaknesses and strengths and improve future performances.
Equipment Advances
Swim Suits
By the 2000 Olympics, swimsuit designers had created a swimsuit that imitated the skin of a shark. The cut and seams on the suit were designed to cover the whole body without impeding the swimmer. Body scanning took measurements to design individual suits, which improved streamlining.
The most recent developments have produced widespread calls for the total banning of high tech swimwear.
‘Bodysuits’ have always had performance enhancing qualities. However, the Speedo LZR exponentially increased this and more recently at the 2009 World Championships a new range of suits by Adidas, Arena and Jaked saw an unprecedented 46 world records broken.
These suits are made from a special ultra-lightweight water-repellent material that, through compression, reduces skin vibration and offers low drag friction while
improving buoyancy.
Technological advances in these designs have seen the question raised as to the advantage swimmers receive from the suit and even caused many swimmers and coaches to call for restrictions in technological advances.
Equipment Advances 2
Golf Balls
The original breakthrough was improved upon by making the urethane outer covers of the balls more durable and thinner and firmer for added distance.
At the same time, advances in rubber systems allowed ball makers to design cores that were more energetic or ‘faster’. This provided even more distance on shots hit with the longer clubs, while maintaining a soft feel.
Further improvements to the core and cover have reduced spin on drives to increase distance and allow greater control.
Use of Technology
Training innovation
– can assist in performance at training, and also competition. Tackle suits in football training: decreased impact in tackles at training. Sprinting sleds: resistance behind the athlete, which helps to increase stride length (key component of sprinting).
Video analysis of performance
– applied in a range of coaching, viewing, and performance appraisal situations. Video allows analysis of player movements, strategies, and techniques, which can be used to: improve performance, improve visualization, establish biomechanical efficiency, and analyses strategy.
Data gathering and analysis
– increased professionalism has made this important to both performance and improvement. Video analysis, statistics, results and records, and personal notations are the methods of gathering data. With computer software there is an improved ability to store data and refer to it quickly and easily.
Goal line technology-Soccer
Cricket Review System
Nike GPS Running
Tennis Racquets
Road Bike Technology
Lactate Testing
Lance Armstrong Testing
Biomechanical Video Analysis
THE END
Full transcript