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    • What if someone were to write a program that could in essence simulate the human body of an athlete. All of it's limitations and abilities. Then we use that 'software human' (SH) to run through a sport over and over and over again, each time trying out different movements and strategies to see what works better. It could totally reinvent a new technique for a sport or athletic skill. Think of the history of the high jump for instance. Maybe the SH could do something so unique nobody had thought of it before or even tried.

    • I'd posit that it's being done already, though on a much smaller scale than I'd imagine you are portraying. Every elite athlete that does wind tunnel testing, has been fit by a computer algorithm (yours truly among many thousands of others), and has been fitted with biological sensors that are collecting/storing data; all the above and more are data points entered into algorithms and computer modeling programs to study and track the limits of human performance and fitness.

      The geeks and scientists that study and understand the output are the ones pushing the elites to tweak their form, nutrition, perceived exertion, et al... The one caveat being that no two athletes are alike and every single one will have bio-characteristics that are limiting or surpassing others.

      Take cycling for example (my obvious go-to); there are body types and physiologies better suited for climbing, sprinting, chasing, escaping, and enduring but, without significant biological modification; a sprinter will never be a good climber and vice versa.

      A significant factor in human performance limitation is shutting off the brain's naysayer voice and ignoring the pain. Some of that is discipline through experience, some of it is science using what "legal" enhancements are allowed, and a lot of it is time. I think it was Eddie Merckx that said it best

      "Cyclists live with pain. If you can't handle it you will win nothing."

    • Interesting thought!

      Slightly different but related: It seems like we probably have enough sports footage to feed AI models to predict individual athlete behaviors.

      Coaches and players already study footage, but it would be interesting to create a VR simulator that Steph Curry could use to test strategies against a virtual LeBron James.

    • Now this is the kind of thing I'm interested in hearing about! An AI analyzing footage and matching it with an individual athlete's genetic and current abilities to help determine in what direction or what strategy to move towards or use next. Hmmm, the possibilities seems endless albeit most likely small incrimental gains in performance aka marginal gains.

    • I too use power meters, heart rate monitors, power curve and data analysis software but you're right when I'm thinking of really big changes not currently being used so far as I know.