Riku Rimpelä’s main task in Trainesense has been developing the ways force information is used in practice. In his work he regularly works with the world’s best swimmers and coaches, but also with juniors and recreational swimmers. Working with wide range of users has been the key enabler in identifying the most essential information and best practices on using it.
The set of best practices has been created by solving the concrete problems of users and validating the solutions together with them. Riku’s lifelong experience on different sports and his engineering background has enabled combining the ingredients of sport science, systems thinking and modern project management into a practical coaching package.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
Swimming movement is one of the most complex movement in the world of sport executed in an environment which is not natural for human being. This combined with the fact that we see only portion of the movement and are not able to interact with the swimmer, makes performance analysis of swimming a demanding task. What we see on swimming is only a limited representation of the reality of swimmer in the pool.
Swimmer moves to the other end of the pool by holding the water and pushing himself towards the end of the pool. SmartPaddle measures the force on water and makes objectively visible where in the stroke cycle swimmer is losing the hold on the water and how much. The measurement clearly identifies where to put the improvement focus on: if the hand on the water is not creating propulsion, it is creating drag and slowing the swimmer down.
The fact is that in 100m competition swim there is no similar stroke. Therefore building swimmer’s awareness and capability to adapt their stroke is the key enabler for improving performance. Force measurement visualizes swimmers feeling on water making it easy for them to relate to. As a result many of the swimmers have commented that force measurement enabled them for the first time to understand what they are doing underwater.
In the presentation we will go through background, examples and demonstrations on how SmartPaddle removes a lot of the guesswork in coaching.
“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.”
To reach full of their potential, swimmers need to continuously improve efficiency of their swimming. However, water as element limits coaches’ ability to observe their technique and give actionable feedback. Therefore, swimmer may be uncertain of what exactly he needs to improve on.
Because of the uncertainty related to changing technique, the teams often attempt to overcome an obvious efficiency limitation by developing physical capabilities instead of improving technique. This approach severely limits the performance and is prone to injuries, stalling progress and loss of motivation.
Accuracy of SmartPaddle measurement removes the mystique from technique changes. Muscles create the force and based on force measurement it is possible to identify the muscles that are not activated as they should during the stroke cycle. This information enables creating a development plan that engages the swimmer and enables synchronizing the work of physiotherapist, strength&conditioning coach and swimming coach.
In the presentation we will go through the thinking of a development process, examples of reallife implementations and what have been the results of them.