497-222: The Science of Volleyball: Applying Multiple Disciplines to Enhance the Understanding, Training and Competitive Nature of the Sport

CRN
26751
Meeting Days/Time
Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 12:40 pm
Sponsor
In collaboration with Illinois Tech Athletics
Instructor(s)
Steve Hammond (ID) (stevehammond1@mac.com)
Appropriate Majors
All
Category
Technical Innovation

Please take a look at this link https://vimeo.com/197956814 in addition to reading about the exciting plans for IPRO 222!

The core of this IPRO is finding ways for science and technology to contribute to (1) enabling athletes to improve their learning/performance and (2) finding ways to grow the game. The latter goal surfaced in conversations with USA Volleyball staff. How might we make coaching/learning the game more scientifically based? What are ways to make volleyball as accessible as basketball, football or soccer? How might technology (sensors, data analysis, video) be used to enhance performance? In what ways can we improve training to optimize biomechanics and reduce injuries? And on. Students will do secondary and user research to explore problems like these and select those they will explore.

Volleyball is a rapidly growing sport with one of the largest athlete populations among female athletes and a growing presence in male athletics. IIT has recently added men’s volleyball to its NCAA Division III women’s program. Given the analytical skills of IIT students, sports science is an ideal space for applying a wide variety of analytical and social skills. By working with the Athletic Department, volleyball athletes, USA Volleyball and Chicago area club coaches, this IPRO will explore a number of aspects of volleyball technique, training and execution.

The Spring 2017 version has the option to build on prior work. Projects of interest include:

  • Use of the sensor/tracking/feedback technology (video, RFID, etc.) to provide live feedback and post-match analytics to athletes in the training environment
  • Use of sensors to measure joint movement and force with the aim of understanding and preventing injury
  • Developing web/mobile-based self-education tools for players to learn strategy, tactics, skills and drills
  • Designing light weight, portable games to promote learning volleyball among young players.

Students may opt to advance this work or develop new projects of their own.

The aim of the IPRO is to apply multiple disciplines to understand how to enhance volleyball team performance and/or grow the game. Depending on the skills and interests of the students, this could involve measurement, statistical analysis, social and psychological understanding of athletes, nutrition and other potentially helpful topics of exploration. The goal is to enhance understanding of how to play, train and compete in the sport.

The particular areas to be studied will be guided by input from students, athletes (both IIT and external to IIT), IIT coaches, locally-based USA Volleyball coaches and interested department staff. Mike Hulett of Adversity Volleyball club will provide guidance and input on the topics and methods to be studied. Mike has the distinction of holding USA Volleyball’s highest accreditation, CAP V and holds the 2012 Harold T. Friermood Award, USA Volleyball’s highest honor. He coached the USA Men’s Paralympic team in the Atlanta and Sydney Games and began the Women’s Paralympic program, winning Bronze in Athens and Silver in Beijing.

The IPRO will work with IIT Volleyball program and others during the semester. This may involve observation, development of measurement techniques and other methods. The exact program will be tailored to the needs of athletes, coaches and the participating students.

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