Steph Curry is currently celebrating another NBA championship – just 10 years after the star afraid he would never play again†
Curry’s early years with the Golden State Warriors were plagued with chronic ankle injuries. In 2013, the team’s new performance director, Keke Lyles, proposed a new explanation for the problem.
Lyles believed that Curry was too dependent on his ankles for speed. The coach devised a training program that transferred the energy generation to the shooter’s hips.
“He would overload his lower legs a lot more than necessary,” Lyles told TNW. “It’s not that he couldn’t use his hips as much, but that wasn’t his first strategy — his body was going elsewhere.”
The new approach soon reaped the benefits. When Lyles left the Warriors in 2015, Curry had just won a Most Valuable Player award and his first league title. LeBron James described the Golden State squad as “the healthiest team I’ve ever seen in NBA history.”
The resources Curry had are inaccessible to most athletes. But Lyles is now betting that AI and motion capture could reap the benefits for the masses.
Our goal is to understand what makes good marksmen.
The trainer was recently appointed director of performance at Uplift Labsa California basedto start† The company’s software analyzes that of an athlete to improve their skills and reduce their injury risks.
While other motion capture systems rely on expensive suits and complex calibration, Uplift’s app requires only a few iPhones and tripods.
Images of the athlete are recreated in 3D. The AI then adds actionable insights into the biomechanics of the movements.
“LIt’s two phones, no markings, no calibration, just walk in and get to work,” Lyles said. “That probably saves 70% of the time.”
In January, Uplift has joined the NBA Launchpada new technology incubator program that could improve basketball.
Uplift will focus on analyzing a skill that: Steph Curry has revolutionized: jump shots.
†Our goal is to understand what makes good marksmen,” says Lyles. “What are the mechanics? What are the ranges of motion? There is inherently natural movement variability… but what is the tolerance that is acceptable or not?”
Teams can use the findings to improve their existing players, identify new talent and reduce injuries. But Lyles believes the Upstart model is also cheap and accessible enough for everyday users.
It might not get them Steph Curry’s jump shot, but it can help prevent their own ankle injuries.