The athletic director at St. Joseph by the Sea High School is hoping a sports science lab will give their student athletes an edge and also prevent injuries. NY1's Natalie Duddridge filed the following report.
Speed, reaction time and footwork are just some of the skills being tested at a sports science lab held at St. Joseph by the Sea high school.
More than 100 student-athletes are learning their strengths and weaknesses.
"In football, you always have to keep your feet moving. Gives me a description of how fast I am, and what I need to improve on," said student-athlete Louis Ealducci.
"First thing I did was measure my grip strength, left hand, my non-dominant hand. So clearly I might need to work on my grip strength," said student-athlete Ryan Simermeyer.
It's called the 'Build a Better Team Program,' and uses science and simulations to test an athlete's movement patterns. In this case, Richard Bruno, the school's athletic director, wanted to use the technology to help prevent injuries.
"In the last several years, we had athletes with injuries, especially our female athletes, the ACL tears, and it's really a devastating injury," Bruno said.
"We're constantly sliding on the floor, throwing our body all over the place, so this will definitely be beneficial for us," said a soccer player.
Coaches say it's all about working smarter, not harder, and that means also improving your mental game. A sensory station helps athletes track objects more quickly and improves their multi-tasking.
"Not only helps them on the field but also in the classroom as well. It improves their attention, their concentration," said Michael Greene of the sports science lab.
The sports science lab is used by doctors, pro athletes and Olympians, or anyone trying to take their skills to the next level.
The technology can identify body compositions and dynamics of athletes who may be able to play at a high level for a long time. And trainers say the goal is to form good habits early.
"I'm going to have more knowledge of what I'm going to improve on so I can work on that throughout the offseason," Ealducci said.
The school's athletic director says each year, about two dozen of their athletes go on to play college level thanks to the lab, which gives them a jolt start.