KU Sports Performance Continues to Set Standard with Technology Additions
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Pioneers in using technology when it comes to training athletes, Kansas Athletics Sport Performance has taken another major step in setting the standard with the addition of six Sparta Force Plate systems, KU Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Performance Andrea Hudy announced.
The Sparta science system, consisting of a computerized tracking system, allows each athlete to individually measure his or her own athletic progress when it comes to performance. The system records individual jump testing performance and shows the athletes which areas they need to improve on in order to maximize their talents and minimize injuries on the field, track and courts. The Sparta software creates movement signatures to help athletes, and coaches, monitor their performance program. In the event they occur, the new system also assists with injury management.
“This is cutting edge technology is going to push the envelope of sports performance,” said Hudy, the 2013 National College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year who has been on the Kansas Athletics staff since 2004. “We prescribe the exercises to the individual that will increase performance and help with injury prevention.”
Kansas was the first to use the Sparta Force Plate technology beginning in November 2012. With one system, Sparta was used with only men’s and women’s basketball to measure performance and progress for the student-athletes in the weight room. With the addition of five Sparta Force Plates, the more than 450 KU student-athletes will have access to the cutting-edge equipment. Funding for the additional Sparta Force Plate systems at KU came privately.
“The thing that sets Kansas apart is what we are doing from a science and technology aspect to help performance of the athlete,” said Hudy who has worked with 35 players who have gone to play in the NBA, including 14 while at Kansas.
Other Sparta software clients include the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Kansas was the company’s first client, which has now spread to other colleges such as Pacific and Santa Clara.
“The other schools will test every month as a check and balance where Kansas will test every week,” said Dr. Phil Wagner, owner of Sparta which is based in San Francisco. “Kansas’ uses a more precise approach. More frequency allows for more precision.”
The Sparta Force Plate system is user friendly with student-athletes logging into the program and quickly find their training history and plan for upcoming workouts. Athletes can track their progress from the time they arrive at KU until they leave the university.
“From a recruiting standpoint there is a lot of pitches you hear on performance and science,” Wagner said. “What sets Kansas apart is immediate interpretation and usage. It’s not being stored for some publication. It’s being done to help the athlete. This will track the longitude development from the time the student-athlete arrives until she or he leaves.”
Hudy’s national reputation as one of the best in the sport performance field and her passion to improve KU student-athletes took another major step with the additions of the Sparta Force Plates.
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