Oct 20, 2017
Tracking Throws

Purdue University’s quarterbacks have started wearing arm sleeves, most often seen on baseball pitchers, in order to track the number of throws they make in practice. According to Gold & Black, Domenic Reno, MBA, CSCS, RSCC*D, FMS, USAW, PES, USATF, Senior Associate Director of Football Strength and Conditioning at Purdue, first tried motusQB’s arm sleeve technology this summer on junior David Blough, before expanding it to the other quarterbacks.

The sleeve has a chip it in that measures number of throws, arm angle, arm speed, shoulder rotation, fingertip velocity, and other metrics. After a throwing session, Reno can pull up the data on his computer and go through it pass for pass. The software even comes with a chart that breaks down each metric for each throw.

One of the main benefits of the arm sleeve software is that it can monitor the workload of a quarterback’s arm. So if a player experiences shoulder or elbow soreness, Reno can pull up that day’s throwing session and try to pinpoint which rep may have caused the issue. Overall, Reno believes the data is useful for helping players train and finding the causes for their injuries.

“The biggest thing for me right now is with the quarterbacks, it allows me to, once I track it that practice, I’m able to sync it, collect the data, and when we go train that next day, I’m able to adjust their workouts based on how much volume they did,” Reno said. “So let’s just say one of the guys throws 120 balls and another of your guys throws 70. I know the guy who throws 120 balls has a little bit more stress on his shoulder and his elbow, then I’m going to back down from that lift if we’re doing upper body. The other guy, I can either keep what we’re doing, or I can progress a little. So it’s injury prevention.”

Reno said that while the players were initially hesitant to try the sleeves, they soon became fascinated with the data and saw its benefit.

“[Sophomore] Elijah (Sidearm) is a big baseball guy, so he understands it completely,” Reno said. “David is so dialed into his body and what he does that he’s very in tune with this whole data system, the data we’re collecting. The guys are interested to see (the data).”

Reno said he’s willing to consider any ideas that could help his players.

“We’ave got nine quarterbacks,” Reno said. “If there are nine different things to help each one, then I’ll do nine different things. Each quarterback has his own game. As a strength coach, you have to be able to find out what kind of game they play and try to enhance that.”

Image by Steve Shupe

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