Motion Analysis - "HOW TO" Section
In this section we'll go over Key Tips and Strategies for doing your own Motion Analysis work... Everything from the Setup and Approach for each video... Traps and Pitfalls to Avoid... and Key Tips for getting the most out of your motion analysis software.
Motion Analysis Tools & Software
Essential Tools (What You Will Need)
1. A camera (something to capture video)
You can get fancy here if you want to... But if you don't have a high quality video camera, don't worry. Really, most smartphones and tablets take great video, and won't need anything more than that. And in most cases, you're better off using those because you'll be able to easily access any of the multitude of motion analysis mobile apps for quick review right on the spot.
2. A Tripod (and smartphone or tablet mount if necessary)
You won't need this for a lot of the quick, on the spot video work - recording a throw and letting the pitcher check it out. But when it's time for a full analysis, you'll want a tripod to keepp the camera steady. Otherwise when you try to use any of the drawing tools in the motion analysis software, you're lines will jump around.
3. A Computer or Tablet (for performing a full analysis)
Eventually, when the time comes, you'll want to be able to sit down and review the video on a bigger screen. In addition, the full desktop applications tend to be more robust than the mobile apps (at least, for now). So when ready for a full analysis, you'll be best off performing that on a computer (or tablet with docking station).
NOTE: For some applications like PowerChalk (what I use), you'll also need an internet connection.
4. Motion Analysis Software
There's a whole world of applications for capturing and analyzing video, along with a slew of great mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. Here are some of the best (at the time of this writing, at least):
Ubersense: while I use PowerChalk for my full analysis work, the Ubersense mobile app has proven to be the best for quick video review and side by side right on my phone at the facility.
PowerChalk: This is the motion analysis software I use. The mobile app is great, too - not quite where Ubersense is yet (but that may change soon).
Coach's Eye: Another very solid option for mobile video review. I've tested it and I like it. Very smooth/sleek and easy to use.
Right View Pro (RVP Mobile App): I personally have not tested this one, but the original software/motion analysis system is a baseball analysis standard.
When you're ready to do a complete analysis, you'll want something robust to take advantage of all the capabilities, tools and techniques I go over in this program.
All of the apps above also have desktop solutions...
I personally use PowerChalk for all of my formal video work. It's powerful, easy to use and affordable (plus it makes it easy to share my videos with my pitchers). It does everything I need and has never let me down. And based on what I've seen of the other programs out there, I haven't seen any reason to switch. That doesn't mean this will always be the case. Things tend to change quickly in the world of technology... But for now, it does the job (and then some).
My Motion Analysis Setup
My Home Studio...
Yup, this is it... My home Motion Analysis studio.
You're looking at EXACTLY what I use for creating and recording all of my Motion Analysis videos:
- A laptop computer (you can of course use a desktop, as well)
- A microphone (this Blue Snowflake USB mic is great - high quality, portable and you can find it for under $50). Most laptops also have their own internal microphones that are okay to start out with. But if you end up doing a lot of recordings and voice-over work, you'll want to get something a little higher quality.
- PowerChalk.com Motion Analysis Software (requires WiFi or plugged-in internet connection)
That's it! If you don't plan on doing recording for your pitchers/students, you don't even need the mic... Assuming you have a computer or tablet, you've already got everything you need to get started. Simple...
Don't make it more complicated than it has to be!
My Video Capture Station...
You really don't need more than this to take quality video for analysis. Most smartphones nowadays take excellent video (and some even have very powerful high-speed video capabilities).
Here is EXACTLY what I use for my on-site video work:
- Standard Camera Tripod (~$30-50)
- Lusana Studio Smartphone Tripod Mount (~$5). Joby Gorillapod Griptight Mount is a slightly more expensive option (and probably more resilient)
- Samsung Galaxy S5 (again, the iphone and other smartphones also take great video)
You can also use an iPad or Tablet with a special tripod mount. And, of course, you can get fancier if you want to, but for everything you see inside this Motion Mapping Method program, you don't need anything more than what you see here.
PowerChalk Training (Also Relevant To Other Systems)
Uploading A Video
Advanced Tips & Favorite Features
Using My Sample Pro-Models In PowerChalk
Flipping, Clipping & Looping...
Syncing, Lines, Lasers... And Keeping It Simple
Methodology - Setup & Execution
Motion Analysis Basics - "Setting the Stage"
The Pitcher's Initial Motion Analysis
Preparing Your Video For Analysis
The First Step - Rhythm, Tempo & Initial Checks
NOTE: The video above was created using a screen-capture software so that you can see all of the tools and buttons I click on to control the telestrator. As a result, the video of the pitcher isn't as smooth as it will be when viewing/recording directly inside PowerChalk (or other motion analysis programs).
Assessing The Key Phases (5 Power Moves)
Quick Note On The Front View
Initial Analysis Wrap-Up - Reviewing The Goal & Objective
The Follow-Up Motion Analysis
The BIG Motion Analysis TRAPS
Bonus Videos (Deep Dives)
What About The Throwing Arm?
All About Stride Length
The Back Foot: What If It Leaves The Ground Early?
This video comes from the Live Q&A Session I did for MMM Early Members. The back foot leaving early is common concern among a lot of parents/coaches, specifically the concern that it could be reducing velocity. As you'll see me discuss in the video, in my experience these concerns are often misguided and overblown. The importance has more to do with the proper timing of weight transfer, and in fact (as you'll see clearly in the video) the back foot leaving the ground early is common among many hard throwing big league pitchers who throw 95 MPH and above.
Below I am including the Catapult Progression I reference in the video as a way to address this if it is indeed an issue for a pitcher.
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Send me an email directly at Phil@BetterPitching.com with any issues or questions.