MBHPI Explores the Future of Sports: Can We Measure Greatness?
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —
Cutting Edge CGI, perfected for movies, now used for medical and sports performance testing (watch fascinating video at www.mbhpi.com/intro.html)
Throughout the history of sports, coaches and doctors have struggled to predict which skills in young athletes will lead to greatness later on in life. Currently, the NFL and NBA use extensive camps, timed skills trials, and video analysis to help coaches and management evaluate talent in an attempt to find the next great athlete. Unfortunately, while helpful, these tests have lacked the precise knowledge of what specific body types or skill sets are critical in predicting future success in sports. On November 4, in an exciting step into the future, the Manhattan Beach Human Performance Institute (MBHPI), in conjunction with Vicon, the world’s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems, will work with the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Soccer Academy to begin to evaluate what characteristics and skills in young athletes are predictive of future success.
While the eyes of an experienced coach are great tools in evaluating such success, with each different coach comes a different opinion. The Holy Grail has always been a tool that can objectively measure greatness. Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball, and the recent film by the same name, tells the story of a search for precise data that general managers in baseball could use to identify which athletes would be successful professionally. Moneyball, however, only focused on past statistics. We believe that we can measure greatness today and in the future.
The search for athletic greatness, up until this point, has lacked profound data. Firstly, athletes are built differently. This simple idea has profound implications. Why are your best sprinters usually bowlegged? Why do flat-footed athletes have trouble skiing? There are mechanical reasons that establish these generalizations. By utilizing the power of databases combined with data obtained using the newest cutting edge technology perfected in CGI movie making, MBHPI will begin the process of evaluating sports greatness by hosting the Los Angeles Galaxy on November 4th at the House of Moves (HOM) motion capture facility.
MBHPI is a new company in the process of building a novel type of sports medicine center never seen before. The 20,000 sq foot center will make the field of biomechanics and human motion assessment available to the average person. According to CEO, Dr. Allen Selner, “the power is in the data being used correctly. The key is being able to mass produce these tests in an accurate and inexpensive manner.” By teaming with Vicon, the driving force in the industry, MBHPI is poised to bring this powerful new tool to the public. According to Mike Kocourek, senior business development executive for Vicon, “most people are unaware that at this moment software and hardware are ready for this challenge”.
The Los Angles Galaxy have established their own academy to train and develop young soccer talent. Sean Alvarado, who is both MBHPIs director of development and a member of the LA Galaxy, is one of the driving forces behind this event. Through MBHPI, Sean can combine his passion for sports performance with his desire to help young athletes. “I have played and taught soccer my whole life and now have a chance to use sophisticated technology to help all players perform to their potential”.
Youth aged from 12 to 17 will be placed in a series of skill tests. Utilizing cutting edge technologies such as motion capture, in-shoe transducer mats, and visual eye tracking system, the young athletes will be asked to perform a variety of skills. Using these new technologies, we will not just observe, but will also objectively measure their skills. When these types of data are used over time, it will prove invaluable in helping predict performance or helping young athletes choose the best sport for their skillset and body type.
The film and book Moneyball have focused new attention on this exciting area by exposing information that had been “invisible” to most, until a courageous General Manager, Billy Beane, had the foresight and conviction to stay the course when so many others thought him wrong. According to Dr. Selner, “Billy Beane started something!! MBHPI hopes to be the first to develop databases that will permit orthopedic medical testing over the Internet. Databases like this will allow better medical care at lower prices, an important national goal.”
Executive Assistant, Manhattan Beach Human Performance Institute
Dr. Allen Selner DPM
CEO, Manhattan Beach Human Performance Institution