IU football implementing emerging sports performance technology

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Inside the weight room at Memorial Stadium, gauging an athlete’s performance goes well beyond the weight on a bar.

“It’s not as simple as throw one program at a whole roster and hope it works,” Dr. Matt Rhea, IU Football athletic performance coach, said.

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IU is on the cutting edge of using this technology, and implementing its results, to achieve optimal results for each individual athlete.

"A lot of people might have similar tools, but you gain a significant advantage when you know how to use those tools better than the competition,” Rhea explained.

The tools include an EMG treadmill system and the 1080 Sprint which you'll only find at IU.

“It's been a lengthy research program for me to undertake,” Rhea added, “the EMG testing for muscle coordination, the 1080 Sprint which tells us power output during a sprint."

"You're looking to find individual weaknesses, flaws, issues that they have that are holding them back from high performance,” David Ballou, former IU football player and now the team’s director of athletic performance, explained.

I'm long past my high performance days, but still couldn't resist taking it for a test run, hopping on the EMG Treadmill for manual runs on the treadmill. Then the 1080 Spring on the football field which adds varying levels of resistance based. Both are used to measure an athlete’s power, strength, speed, explosiveness and muscle firing.

As for the real athletes, while they're already seeing results in terms of individual performance, they aim to translate them into long term team success.

"We came here with the highest expectation, to win, win big and do it long term,” Ballou said.

IU will host it’s annual Cream & Crimson spring game on Friday, April 12.

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