Presentation of the state of our research

Edited by Alain Durey and laboratory staff “Science, Technology, Education and Training” from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (STEF), the 3DVision software developed by Gilles Dietrich (STAPS of Paris V), the department of advanced Research Rossignol, the French Ski Federation and mechanical skills of David Nero, now a lecturer at ENS Cachan. We have developed a method in 3D video graphics, which can capture and reconstruct the kinematics of each principal component of the system articulated skier skis slalom-context and model the biomechanics (image 1).

In parallel, we specifically studied the neuropsychological functioning of humans. Those that allow us to perceive, to act, to experiment, to learn and pass our empirical knowledge. We looked to the objectification of the knowledge process because they show us how to overcome the best of our subjectivity, to make them more just our observations and interventions. We also examined the methods facilitating the transfer of knowledge, know-how and skills.

This long investigation of different scientific fields involved in alpine skiing, has allowed us to develop two complementary tools to facilitate learning downhill skiing and / or guide the training of competitors. The first is an evaluation grid that defines six basic physical techniques that combines the skier to perform well with his skis on which the monitor or the coach should focus its attention to become able to discriminate accurately. Three other observable complete the full activity. The overall provides a technical reference with which it can objectify observations and therefore its assessments of the technical skier observed. The second is a technological model that guides the appraiser to “bump” an observed outcome (eg slidding) to the defaulting body technique that is the cause. It clarifies the relationship between each of the six body techniques that we believe necessary to be part of becoming a champion with current skis and mechanical features.

Each technique is symbolized by an image provided with markings. Those refers to the observed actions (Fig 2). It is formalized by a written definition, describing the perceptual reference point that corresponds to it, to limit the subjectivity of the apprentice, so that it becomes its own appraiser. Symbolization of each basic technique comes from the translation of a rigorous biomechanical design developed by physicists in perceptual reference point directly usable by practitioners. It is a technical vocabulary to share, to build with the student, the racer and / or his colleagues. A common reference objectified meanings and “perception-action-consequence perceptive” relationships associated. That aimed to a mental image and similar simulated actions are born simultaneously in the body of each party in order to be sure to think the same thing.

We have developed an evaluation grid of techniques implemented by the observed skier and a biomechanical model of the physical context skier ski-system. Which we have translated into technological model to explain the relationship between cause and effect.

The attention of the sports teacher is focussed by the reading grid and on the observation frames that objectify the evaluation. The biomechanical model explicits the physical causality. The technology model shows how to maneuver his skis to steer (reference manual). It guides the instructor or trainer to advise more precisely the skier from the sets perceptive « perception-action-consequence perceptive » defined in the grid. This to develop the educational project of evaluation and learning situations that facilitate the faulty technique to be observed.

Project definition

Our ambition is to continue our research to achieve three objectives:
1) To develop a ski reference manual as a smartphone application that we sell in stores to fund our research;

2) To develop a lively technology manual as a smartphone application that will contain, in graphic forms among others, observable components as an index, and a technological model materializing the progression of technical body efficiency (KPI) of the learner or the competitor, which will be sold to amateurs and professionals to support our research.

3) Developing a simulator for manipulating the physical model skier ski-context, to simulate changes in body techniques with the same equipment. And to simulate certain characteristics of the equipment for constant body techniques, to ascertain their biomechanical consequences and hypotheses emerge concerning the operation of the elements of physical skier ski-context system (model project) (model and project). Then we can provide coaches, athletes and manufacturers of equipment, experimental protocols to the test of practice and whether they are likely to improve performance.

To develop these applications and the simulator and to achieve our goals, we need to cooperate with a laboratory with expertise in biomechanics and computer software development,. We also need to work with an equipment alpine skis manufacturer to have the necessary data from their designs. And we must be provided with additional financial means.

But these projects are not part only in a cognitive temporality. They also think the pace of technological innovations. The methods we developed in 2000 should be updated with the current instrumentation: digital precision suggesting gains precision unimaginable at the time. In order to refine our data, we must therefore resume our experiments in adapting to new technologies capture kinematic data and characteristics of torques ski boot. We know that a laboratory have developed a procedure for analyzing movements in real time. This laboratory is willing to work with us. We also know that platforms measure torques ski boot that fits between skiing shoes, This technic has been developed by a Swiss firm that needs to be contacted to find out their lease terms or purchase.

We draw the attention of potential funders and cooperaters that the simulator and the various applications can be adapted to all practices of gliding sports, competitive or recreational, whose movement is caused by the single acceleration of gravity (skateboarding, rollerblading, snowboarding…) without major changes.

Thank you for your attention to our work and projects.