About this video
Engineering Sport... Coming soon!
In this upcoming Ri Collection in collaboration with the Centre of Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University, Professor Steve Haake presents a hands-on guide to the field of sports engineering.
As elite performance is now separated by the tiniest of margins we investigate how sports engineering is helping athletes to gain the crucial edge over their opponents. In locations throughout the UK Steve speaks to the coaches implementing new technologies into their training regimes and explores how sports engineering innovation is being used on the front-line to aid athletes in football, tennis, diving and more.
With the Olympic games on the horizon, at what point does the use of cutting-edge technology overstep the mark and when does it become cheating? And looking forward, how will new technologies influence the development of sport into the future?
This is a trailer for the full collection of films, appearing on the Ri Channel soon!
- Centre for Sports Engineering Research (Sheffield Hallam University)
- Professor Steve Haake
- Sheffield, UK
- Collections with this video:
- Engineering Sport
Related Links and Media
You might think that the combination of science and sport together is a relatively new thing, but actually they've gone hand in hand ever since humans first started playing games. To ensure fairness, they would draw a line in the dirt. But to improve things and ensure continuity year-on-year, they cut two grooves in a marble sill. You would stand on the sill and put your toes in the groove before you started, hence the saying "toeing the line." It's one of the earliest examples of sports technology, and something you can still see today at Olympia in Greece.
Fast forward through history and we crash into the Industrial Revolution. And for the first time, the average worker had a little bit of disposable income, but there were huge numbers of them. And thanks to the new labour laws they also had the Saturday afternoon off, so what to do with that time? And the answer lies here in Sheffield's Kelham Island Industrial Museum, and on the fantastic shelves over there.
So 19th century Sheffield was a huge manufacturer of cutlery, of hand tools, and of cannon shells. So at lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon, the whistle would go on the workers would clock out using the clocking machines over there. They would then go down the pub for a couple of hours, and then pass through those turnstiles there into the football matches. And that's why, traditionally, football starts at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. The story is all there on these shelves.
I give them feedback that helps them achieve their goals. And that's the goals for that session, the goals for that training cycle. And ultimately the goals that will get them towards elite performance, and hopefully an Olympic medal.
So we've got the video of Ben. This is the high-speed video linked to the force plate data, and we can play the video through.
Oh, wow, I love that.
You can see the line projected on screen. And if the line's longer, he's pushing harder, and depending on what direction the line goes, that's the direction he's pushing into the towers. So here, for example, you see he's pushing back quite hard.
The drivers for this technology have obviously been interaction with computers, gesture recognition, the sort of thing that kind of normally happens in a living room.
With sports engineering, we can model a whole sport. And we can use it to push the physical boundaries of the discipline. Is it cheating?
Collections containing this video:
Exploring the technology and innovation behind sporting success.