SPORTS ENGINEERING: – A PERSPECTIVE VIEW

SPORTS ENGINEERING: – A PERSPECTIVE VIEW- The new Olympic motto: “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”. Solidarity fuels our mission to make the world a better place through sport. We can only go faster, we can only aim higher, we can only become stronger by standing together — in solidarity.

“Not let your mind bite You, bite your Mind instead to perfect your PERCEPTION”. My perception says – “Accomplishing a work is not important but the WAY of accomplishing the work is rather more important which makes a champion in every field irrespectively”. Grooming a champion needs an appropriate environment and the engineering makes it perfect. When the engineering helps in creating an environment for athletes to play safe and improve performance, we call it Sports Engineering. Sports Engineering may be a new domain in India but not different from Classical Engineering. It is simply the application of Classical Engineering in Sports.

The Sports Engineering is a field that focuses on design and production of Sports Equipment, Facilities & Infrastructure, and Performance Measurement. It is based not only on Mathematics, Physics and their branches (Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Aerodynamics etc.) but also on Production Technology, Materials Science, Machine Learning, Kinesiology etc. Sports Performance is therefore considered to be a multidisciplinary approach. However, Sports Engineering and Sports Science are not similar (as disciplines) as many people get confused. But both work for athletes from outside and inside (the athletes) respectively in improving performance. The engineering in sports importantly explores two aspects such as Facilities/infrastructures and movement analysis. Let me elaborate these two aspects from an Indian context. 

Facilities/Infrastructures:

A good infrastructure is the backbone of a healthy country. The good infrastructure in sports means to have adequate standard facilities like accredited academies, synthetic/artificial sports flooring/fields, Sports movement analyzing center, sports data science center, sports nutrition, sports performance research center, manufacturing quality equipment among others. Sports infrastructure is one of the important issues in India which we fundamentally depend on import and outsourcing them.

Despite phenomenal growth in Indian Sports, the status of sports infrastructure in India is still not at a desired level. The Govt. has been taking many steps like schemes of grants for creation of sports infrastructure in rural areas, installation of synthetic playing surfaces and promotion of games and sports in universities and colleges. They aim at broad basing of sports and promotion of excellence in sports. Sports is considered to be a state subject and it is primarily the responsibility of the state governments and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to frame policy for promotion and development of various sports disciplines in the country. The ministry only supplements the efforts of state governments and the NSFs.

Funding and Responsibility in Sports Development

Sports being a state subject the states have to bear a part of the expenditure on sports so that there is a sense of participation and ownership by the states in this scheme. Hence the funding pattern between center and state is in the ratio of 75:25 in respect of normal states and 90:10 in respect of special category states. However, if a state will give priority to sports development- is a cause of concern. What we lack is a holistic approach toward the development of sports infrastructure uniformly throughout the country. Towns and villages lack adequate facilities. Sports are meant not only for elite athletes but for everyone in a country.

A country cannot sustain itself in any sector as long as depended on imported goods. The basic reasons behind this are understood that we fail to connect engineering with sports development and have our own manufacturing industries supported indigenously by engineering research. It is indeed very important for researchers from engineering and sports science to work together not only for infrastructure development indigenously but also for reduction of injuries in athletes while they participate in sports. Yes, their application matters in the development of sports at all levels in India.

Movement Analyses: 

“This is not the Education but the Practice that makes you “PERFECT”. Education, of course is an important thing in our life but alone it cannot take us to our goal. We have to convert the education into action which needs regular practice to succeed in life. Ask any athlete who knows better how they put everything together into practice to reach the Olympics. Regular practice in any field helps you acquiring mastery and brings perfection. But mere practice will never make you perfect unless you follow the science of perfect practice. There are external forces (importantly force of gravity, air/water resistance (fluid resistance) in our physical environment which we always encounter in our activities of daily living.

The external forces that we cannot control, have serious effects on human performance. But in sports an athlete has to manipulate their body segments or objects to have less effects of external forces on their body surface so that they can run faster. They can jump higher and they can act stronger which we call it “technique”. And practicing the techniques with accuracy and consistency makes us success in our respective field is called “Performance”. However, in the process of practicing the techniques a coach cannot track (with their naked eye) the sports movements or kinetic and kinematic sequence (force & Motion) which travels through the body segments or objects during the performance.

The Need for Technology in Sports Training

When your kinematic sequence is correct, your biomechanical application is considered to be perfect to achieve peak skill execution. In such case the coaches need help of technology to understand the movements so that they can correct them accordingly and make the techniques perfect for success. Therefore, we need the application of engineering & science to assess the performance of both the athletes and sports equipment by means of design, technology and research for helping coaches to enhance performance of their athletes’ in sports. Thus Sports Engineering Association (SEA) India is the only platform in India where the faculty from engineering/science. Sports can interact and solve the sporting problems indigenously for enhancement of sports performance and reduction of injuries in sports as a whole. 

READ MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *