How Dartfish Is Helping Students Delve Into the Details

When it comes to movement analysis, Concordia students are discovering how Dartfish software can be a game-changer. Dartfish supports both video and still image capture and gives students the ability to draw and annotate directly on either form of media to illustrate where athletes can make movement adjustments that yield the most significant improvements.

Improper form is often the cause of pain and injuries, but with Dartfish, students can analyze angles and demonstrate to athletes how to correct their mistakes and achieve better results. When students graduate to careers as part of a sports performance team, they’ll be actively using software like Dartfish to analyze movement and posture. For anyone pursuing careers as athletic trainers, sports performance coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, or personal trainers, Dartfish can help them succeed in a professional environment.

Experience Is Everything

As video-based performance tools gain traction with athletes and teams around the world, Dartfish is standing out as one of the best. In the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, 72 percent of medals were won by users of Dartfish Video Solutions. At Concordia, students with Dartfish experience are gaining a similar advantage over the competition. In the following example, a student used the software to illustrate their work with a swimmer, using additional video to show swimming movements from start to finish:

Swimming is a perfect use-case for Dartfish because the activity is often considered an art. Efficient swimming necessitates the achievement of proper form more than anything, which is why unfit individuals can out-swim the fittest athletes. Proper form is primarily about trunk position with the goal to be as parallel to the water surface as possible.

While swimming represents a continuous movement of many different muscle groups, proper body position must be maintained throughout, combined with efficient movement patterns to reach optimal sports performance. Here, three specific spinal and thoracic positions will be addressed: 1) Head (cervical), 2) Lower back/hips (lumbar), and 3) Torso (vertebral column).


Position 1:

Summary: Flexing the head (dropping the chin) while maintaining a neutral neck joint position reduces wave drag at the top of the head (resistance), which raises the inferior portion of the body (legs). This promotes horizontal torso positioning with the water surface, thus reducing resistance, conserving energy, and increasing velocity. Because the body typically adjusts to what it views, athletes can sight the lane line behind them instead of in front or below.


Position 2:

Summary: Extending the lumbar (lower back) portion of the spinal column, combined with an anterior pelvic tilt (raising the buttocks out of the water), will help maintain alignment in the vertebral column. Assuring proper alignment between the neck, shoulders, and hips allows the torso to remain horizontal with the water surface thus reducing resistance. Emphasizing the feel of water activity on the posterior will help athletes learn to maintain this position. Activity on the lumbar and buttocks indicates a proper horizontal position and efficient swimming form.


Position 3:

Summary: Rotation of the cervical and lumbar vertebra are necessary for performing the forward crawl or freestyle form of swimming. The torso will rotate slightly in the cervical vertebra for superior movement in the shoulders. It will also rotate slightly in the lumbar vertebra, allowing the athlete to inhale. This transverse motion of the spinal column creates a “torpedo” effect in the water, which aids in propulsion.


Practice Makes Perfect

In the above example, a student was able to implement Dartfish to effectively optimize an athlete’s swimming position. Practicing such scenarios is the quickest way to increase students’ grasp of the software, and subjects don’t have to be athletes. Even taking a video of a dog running after a ball and breaking down its gait can help students familiarize themselves with the software.

When everyone in a class is using Dartfish, communication will help each individual get the most out of their experience. Talking to classmates will help students learn tips and tricks, and it makes learning the software more engaging. It’s easy to be intimidated, but Dartfish is a very intuitive and user-friendly solution. By having fun with it, students will get the most out of their experience, and they’ll bring that positive attitude with them in their professional lives as well.


Concordia University – Chicago has been educating students for over 150 years and when you enroll in our online programs you earn the same campus quality degree. Ready to advance your career in health and fitness with a degree in Exercise Science? Contact one of our Admissions Advisors to learn more or download our program guide now.

Recent Posts