Yong Gao, faculty in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology, was invited to present the keynote lecture at the 2014 International Conference on Sports Science held at Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong on Sept. 17 and at the 13th Annual Conference of the Society of Chinese Scholars on Exercise Physiology and Fitness held at Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China on Sept. 20 and 21.
Her presentation, titled “The Application of Integrated Technology (IT) in Team Sports,” overviewed the use and potential of IT in field based team sports while focusing on sports performance enhancement, injury prevention, and optimum recovery strategy formation. IT is a new technology, only in use in the US for less than five years, that combines GPS technology, accelerometer technology, and heart rate monitors to gather data to build athlete profiles. Athletes wear the IT device as they train, and the data is wirelessly uploaded to a computer automatically. The data is then analyzed using advanced software to produce reports regarding an athlete’s performance, all of which is done in minutes. By gathering data on the athletes each training session, coaches, trainers, and other medical staff can see patterns in the data showing how an athlete uses their body normally and when they are at risk of injury. IT has been used in professional European sports such as football and soccer for a decade, and has recently been introduced in the United States through the National Football League and National Basketball Association.
Gao is well known and respected in her field. She has been one of five members on the executive committee for the International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health over the past three years. She is currently the chair of the Measurement and Evaluation Group for SHAPE America, which is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health, and sport. Gao is also an associate editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, one of the top kinesiology journals.
Gao believes that this line of her research will lead to better, more efficient and appropriate training programs for athletes. Her hope is that her research can help prevent sports injuries, improve athlete performance, and provide useful information for formulating effective recovery strategies.