Performance Mechanics

  • Understand the difference between a qualitative and quantitative biomechanical analysis
  • List the steps involved in a qualitative biomechanical analysis for technique improvement
  • Understand the process of developing a theoretical mechanically based cause-and-effect model of a skill
  • Describe the important guidelines for observing a performance
  • Understand how to identify and evaluate errors in performance
  • Understand how to give instruction to students or athletes that will help them correct errors in technique

Amazing techniques

    • Gaining a general knowledge of activity (Knowledge)
    • Knowing the rules (Rules)
    • Understanding the purposes of the skills involved in the activity (Purposes)
    • Determining the characteristics that help accomplish the purposes (Characteristics)
Gain a general knowledge of the activity

Know the rules (Why is this important? Example 1, Example 2)
  • Hockey
  • Discus
  • Pole Vault
  • Baseball
Purposes of the Skill (in mechanical terms)
  • Tennis
  • Football
  • High Jump

Choose a skill: Write the purpose in mechanical terms and the characteristics of most effective technique

Example analyses
Fastball in baseball
Forehand drive in tennis
Sprint running


  • What will be the focus of the observation?
  • Where is the best place to observe from?
  • What is the skill level of the participant?
  • How might the conditions affect performance?
  • Identify errors
  • Evaluate errors
    • Is the performer at risk of injury? Pole Break
    • How long will it take to correct the error(s)?
    • How large of an effect does the error have on performance?
    • Is the error due to technique issues or a lack of strength? Pole Vault
    • Is the error due to inadequate or innapropriate equipment?
    • Was the error due to something that occured earlier in the performance?Adam Nelson
  • Communicate with the performer
  • Correct the error
Repeat the analysis