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The Motion project started with a seed of a thought about what kind of functional design would allow us to easily track athlete movement in real-time. This made perfect sense in rowing where coaches are typically at a distance from their crew and the coach is trying to look at the movement technique of the individual, as well as how their movement matches up with the crew.
We quickly understood that the value of the Motion concept works across any sport or activity where the coach or instructor was trying to assess the form of their athletes in real time and provide clearer more accurate feedback. But it was a lab testing session at the Victorian Institute of Sport we conducted early in the development where we realised how valuable Motion could be for the individual. Most sports training will involve some time in a gym environment. Motion obviously works best in mirrored surroundings where you can see your form as you step through an exercise. I was doing part of the testing and one of the exercises was performing single leg squats on a raised box. For anyone that wants to work on a combination of power, control, balance and coordination this is a great exercise. As I stepped through a set on my right leg, I quickly began to fatigue and saw in the mirror my right knee marker (R15 on the Motion System) starting to move laterally as I went through the range of movement. The key to single leg squats is to keep the hips level and the knee still which demonstrates optimum balance and form. My immediate reaction to seeing my right knee marker move was to increase my focus on keeping the R15 knee marker still as I completed the last 3 reps. After I finished the set, I realised how simple this cue was to hold concentration and focus on the key areas to maintain form and quality of movement though the whole set. We all fatigue at some point, this is what training is intended to do, but it’s what happens at this point which is critical to being able to improve. The best athletes don’t have a significant drop off in form as fatigue sets in, as they’re better at maintaining form under pressure. I’ve been an elite athlete for over 15 years, and the Motion kit would have been an invaluable asset to improve the quality of my sessions everyday. I think back to every session, every day, every week, every month. If I could have had greater focus on keeping better quality of movement within every set and every rep, even when I was fatiguing, I would have had far greater consistency of performance. When I get asked what lessons I learnt over my time as an elite athlete that I would pass on to the next generation today, the key message would be: don’t waste your time just going through the motions of training and exercises. If you’re not doing it with good form or focus, it’s a waste of your time. Hopefully Motion can now unlock some of this focus for the individual athlete. Keep moving and keep moving well.