Simply Science: Slow motion analysis with 'Dartfish'

6:58 PM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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EDINA, Minn. - Nearly all the world's elite skaters use it and now some Olympic hopefuls in the Twin Cities do as well. Haley Briesch is a dedicated 11-year-old figure skater and an Upper Great Lakes Regional Champion.

She says, "I like getting the rush when you jump and spin."

Helping her reach her goals is coach Tom Incantalupo and Dartfish, which is slow-motion video analysis software that the duo uses to view Haley's jumps and spins, pinpointing the specific reasons for a successful jump or a fall.

Coach Tom is one of only a handful of skating coaches nationwide certified to use the software at this level.

With a computer rink-side, master and apprentice can immediately analyze the jump frame by frame.

"Then I can see what I did wrong and what I have to fix, and then I can go and try to do it the right way," explains Haley.

Coach Tom is looking at body position, form and timing. It's a nearly impossible task when viewed in real time. The jump from start to finish is less than half a second.

He describes, "we determine how high a skater is in the air, by the amount of time they spend in the air, so we have time to height conversion charts."

For one jump, Haley spent 0.433 seconds in the air, which correlates to about nine inches. That was enough for a double but not quite the height needed for a triple.

Haley is counting on herself, her coach and Dartfish to help her someday land a triple axel.

In order to balance her sport with her education, Haley skates every morning until about 11:00. Then she heads home to attend school online through MTS Minnesota Connections Academy.

Haley and her parents, as well as Coach Tom think the school is the best fit for someone in Haley's position. The school has a free information session this Monday, March 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Country Inn St. Paul-East in Woodbury.
For more information on MTS Minnesota Connections Academy visit or call 800-382-6010.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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