TORONTO Aug 6 Coaches at the 2012 Olympic Games
in London have harnessed a new set of tools to land a coveted
spot on the podium -- mobile apps.
Gymnastics, diving and swimming coaches are using apps to
analyze form, execution and timing to improve performance.
John Geddert, head coach of the U.S. women's gymnastics team
and personal coach of Olympian Jordyn Wieber, likes SwingReader
and Coach's Eye, apps available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod
Touch, to record gymnasts' routines and play them back in slow
"You can see form and execution errors, legs apart or knees
bent," explained Geddert, adding that the apps helped him
diagnose why a gymnast at the Olympics was not being credited
for an element in a routine and make immediate adjustments.
The U.S. swim team uses an underwater camera to take video
footage which is reviewed poolside in slow motion with an app
called VideoPix, available for iPhone and iPod Touch.
National performance advisor Russell Mark said it helps the
swimmers master aspects of their technique such as their starts
Aaron Dziver, one of the coaches behind Canadian
synchronized diving bronze medalists Meaghan Benfeito and
Roseline Filion, is also a fan of VideoPix.
"We can look at the actual technique we're trying to modify
in the diver and very quickly show them what they're doing and
have them try to focus on a corrected execution," he said.
The coaches also use apps to superimpose different dives on
top of each other to compare differences in execution.
"Every single country uses an iPad on deck and captures the
dive as soon as they do it," explained Drew Johansen, head coach
of the US diving team.
Johansen captures and stores an athlete's best dives in an
online video library with an app called PowerChalk. One of its
benefits has been to help athletes mentally prepare for
"The night before while thinking about competing they'll
maybe watch a playlist of the best dives they've ever done and
when they visualize competing they try to remember those dives,"
Cindi Bannink, coach of US triathlete Gwen Jorgensen and
some members of the U.S cycling team, likes the MapMyRide app,
which creates and shares cycling routes.
The US Trampoline and Tumbling team uses Instant Replay
Camera, according to program director Susan Jacobson. The app
slows down routines in a frame by frame progression.
"The ability to instantly analyze technique has helped make
corrections in day-to-day practice, but also in last minute
adjustment prior to competition," said Jacobson.
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and David Gregorio)