Sanford Sports Science Institute
The Sanford Sports Science Institute leverages motion capture in and out of the laboratory to help athletes with performance and to conduct state-of-the-art research. The usage of motion capture technology to study human movement at SSSI is nothing new to this team of highly-skilled sports science specialists. The importance of having the most accurate and advanced technology remains a necessity for the department.
The facility manifests Qualisys motion capture capabilities that know no physical boundaries! The SSSI has biomechanics labs in the Sanford Pentagon (home of the Miami Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls SkyForce), GreatShots (a 60 bay outdoor golf entertainment facility), and the Sanford Fieldhouse (an 80,000+ square foot / 7500+ square meter athlete performance center).
The SSSI houses a Qualisys motion capture system consisting of twelve 7+ and eight Miqus M3 motion capture cameras, two 210c and two Miqus color video cameras. Numerous software modules also supplement their athletic performance reporting needs, including golf, running, baseball, and custom written PAFs.
Research and Development
Researchers at the SSSI leverage their motion-capture system to understand athlete development, musculoskeletal injuries, rehabilitation, and for performance with focus on golf, baseball, and running. The SSSI also develops custom analyses leveraging motion capture to provide athletes and clinicians with reports to diagnose areas for performance improvement and to inform clinical treatment plans.
Performance Testing and Clinical Analyses
The SSSI regularly works with athletes of all ages and abilities, from elite professional and college athletes to local youth athletes. Assessments commonly conducted include golf swing evaluations, gait and running assessments, and baseball pitching analyses, analyses though are certainly not limited to those applications. Testing has been conducted in the SSSI runner’s clinic and sports science and biomechanics lab, as well as outside on the driving range!
Olympic hopeful triathlete and SSSI Intern Tony Smoragiewicz has his running form analyzed with the Qualisys motion capture system and a Bertec instrumented treadmill to gain insights to help him prior to Olympic qualifiers in April 2019.
Zach Muckenhirn of the Bowie Baysocks (a Baltimore Orioles affiliate) undergoes a baseball pitching analysis before spring training in January 2019.
Bernhard Langer, German professional golfer, two-time Masters champion, and present PGA Tour Champions player has his golf swing assessed at the SSSI in September 2019.
The team at the SSSI have been active participants in National Biomechanics Day, a worldwide initiative to introduce high school students to biomechanics and the career opportunities in the field. Hundreds of high school students have visited the lab during these events, inspiring future biomechanical scientists and engineers.
In July 2019, the SSSI team traveled to the Moonlight Reserve in Big Sky, Montana to conduct golf swing evaluations on the course as part of a fundraiser. The team also worked with 8 high school golfers in the region, which helped improve each athlete’s golf game and inspired a few future biomechanists during the event.
The SSSI offers biomechanics internships year round for students to get hands on experience in sports and orthopedic biomechanics.
“The ease of use allows our interns and students to become expert users quickly and the PAFs allow us to provide athletes and patients data in real time to make our time together most impactful.”
Lisa MacFadden, PhD | Director of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine