Motion Analysis in Sports: How it Works

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What Is Motion Analysis?

Motion analysis is a method used to track movement using a video camera. The video camera records the movement of an athlete and their environment at the same time. By monitoring the camera’s movement and the athlete, motion analysis can create a graph showing how the athlete is moving.

By visually analyzing movement, motion analysis can help coaches, sports therapists, and strength and conditioning coaches see issues with movement that might go unnoticed by watching athletes perform movements.

Why It’s Important

Understanding how your body moves and what makes certain movements easier or harder can help you train for specific sports and movements. For example, if you’re a basketball player and always have trouble with your shooting motion, you might want to watch your shot from the side and see if you’re using your legs or arms to shoot.

By understanding what makes specific movements easier or harder, you can work on improving the movement that needs more attention. You can also work on correcting any movement issues that might be keeping you from performing well.

How It Works

1. The athlete’s movement must be recorded using a video or a motion-tracking device.

2. The movement’s environment must be recorded using a connected device like GPS.

3. Once those two pieces are in place, the movement can be analyzed using various devices. These devices can be desktop computers, laptops, or mobile devices that run a software program like Motion Analysis Studio.

4. Once the data has been uploaded and analyzed, the information can be presented using several different graphs, charts, and reports.

How To Do Motion Analysis In Sports

You need to gather a camera, a tracking device, and a computer to analyze sports movements. The computer can be a laptop, desktop, or even a tablet. Once those are in place, your tracking device can be connected to the computer. You can upload the data captured by the tracking device to the computer and analyze it with the motion analysis software.

This process may sound complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re tracking a basketball player, you can use a tracking device that attaches to a basketball hoop. The device records the ball’s path when the player shoots the ball and sends that data to the tracking computer.

You can also track movement from a distance, like a balcony or a field. The tracking device should be placed in front of the athlete and tilted down slightly to be pointed at their feet.

Benefits Of Motion Analysis

1. Allows the coach to watch an athlete perform the same movement in different situations, such as from different sides or distances, to see how it looks when performed correctly.

2. Ability to see an athlete perform a movement incorrectly and how the movement differs from normal. The visual analysis can show the initial movement, the correction needed, and the desired outcome of the movement.

3. Can identify common movement issues and correct them before they cause injury. For example, visual analysis can show an issue with a tennis player’s foot strike, where it’s landing, and how that affects the rest of the movement.

4. Used to correct movement issues before they have a chance to cause injury, such as a baseball pitcher having an issue with their back leg while delivering a pitch.


Motion analysis is a beneficial tool that can be used in order to improve an athlete’s performance. This technology provides quantifiable data that can be used to track an athlete’s progress and target specific areas that need improvement.

While there are some limitations to this technology, the benefits provided by motion analysis make it a valuable asset for any serious athlete or coach looking to take their game to the next level.