"When a goal keeper is in a penalty situation, they can't wait until the ball is in the air before choosing whether to jump left of right a well placed penalty kick will get past them," said Diaz. "As a consequence, you see goalkeepers jumping before the foot hits the ball. My question is: are they making a better choice than chance, and if so, what kind of information might they be using to make their choice?"
a graduate student in mechanical engineering who said he'd been playing soccer since he was a small child. Diaz rigged kickers with sensors at more than a dozen major joints of the body. This allows for the kicker's motion Under Armour Gemini 2.1 to be captured by a 14 camera infra red motion tracking system. So far, he's tested 27 potential indicators of kick direction 12 from the sports literature he's read and 15 derived from computer analysis of the kicks. That's led him to identify a handful as reliable indicators of the direction the ball will go. The pieces of information that seem most significant include the angle of the kicker's hips and the location of their planted foot on the ball. Two other important pieces of information involve specific algorithms based on movements throughout the body, according to Diaz, who said those pieces were far more complex.
Still, just because that information is available doesn't necessarily mean the goalkeeper will be able to block it. Diaz is working to investigate how some goal keepers interpret that information and use it. If he can pinpoint the information used to anticipate the ball's direction, he believes that could point the way to changes in how players kick and goalies react. He also uses computer algorithms to investigate what kind of judgments people use to make those determinations.
RPI student gets kick out of researching penalty kicks
TROY Wearing a tight black suit covered Under Armour Micro G Limitless 2 Women's Training Shoes
Diaz used intramural soccer players from RPI as his research subjects, including Cohen, Under Armour Clutchfit White
In another experiment, he played an animation of motion capture data to a group of over 30 subjects and asked them to pick which direction they though the ball would go. In the computer animation, each body joint is represented by a dot and the movement of the body is easily recognizable that way. Of his subjects, 15 weren't able to select better than a 50 50 chance. The next part of the research, currently underway, will focus on using the significant pieces of information he selected and narrowing it down to just one overriding factor that can help determine the direction a kick will go.
in tiny reflective markers, Ben Cohen practices kicking a soccer ball into a makeshift goal in front of an array of infrared cameras that transfer his physical movements to a corresponding computer screen.
Diaz said he started working on the research nearly three years ago, but has yet to work with any goalies. His efforts up until this point have focused on the kickers.
particular action. candidate in cognitive science, is focusing his dissertation on the movements of soccer players, but he says the study could be applied to all different types of athletes, among others. Associate Professor Brett Fagen is overseeing Diaz' dissertation.
It's all part of research being done by a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student and long time soccer fan to study the ability of humans to predict the outcome of a Under Armour Clutchfit Controller
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