Thinking Tech

Golden mobile: apps help Olympic performance

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From the side of the pool deck to the base of the balance beam, coaches are turning to technology to help their athletes achieve their dreams.

Coach

From the side of the pool deck to the base of the balance beam, coaches are turning to technology to help their athletes achieve their dreams. Gymnastics, swimming, and diving have found mobile apps that allow for slow-motion replay and advanced analysis to be a particularly useful training tool. At the highest level of competition, the slightest technical error can mean a fraction of a point deduction or an added tenth of a second--both which can mean the difference between gold and silver, between on the podium and off of it.

While it may seem like such devices would only be useful in training, the reality is that they're just as--if not more--useful in competition. Replay that allows athletes to see their mistakes, correct them, and make an adjustment in between semifinals and finals is hugely valuable.

The different apps coaches use vary widely. John Geddert, head coach of the U.S. women's gymnastics team, told Reuters that the app he uses allows him and his athletes to see, "form and execution errors, legs apart or knees bent." VideoPix, an app that reviews underwater camera footage, is a favorite of swimming and diving coaches.

[via Reuters]

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Jenny Wilson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Jenny Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has written for Time.com and Swimming World Magazine and served stints at The American Prospect and The Atlantic Monthly magazines. She is currently pursuing a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure