Benefits of Real-Time Feedback for Enhanced Sports Performance

Benefits of Real-Time Feedback for Enhanced Sports Performance

Feedback has always been an integral and valuable part of athletic training, helping the athlete to improve performance and remain competitive. In the 21st Century, performance feedback has been elevated to an entirely new level, thanks to technological innovations that allow us to measure specific parameters related to performance, and develop training protocols based on quantitative data. A growing number of studies have shown that quantitative real-time feedback has a more profound impact on sports performance than traditional feedback methods.

Types of Athletic Performance Feedback

There are multiple ways of providing and receiving feedback, and they all have value. However, athletes who receive quantitative feedback in real time have a distinct advantage over those receiving traditional feedback.

Types of performance feedback include:

Types of Athletic Performance Feedback

1. Inferential Feedback. This type of feedback is akin to goal setting, where the athlete is given a quantitative measurement to strive for prior to performance. For example, a time to beat for a sprint, a weight amount for a squat, or a given height for a high jump.

2. Real-Time Feedback. In this type of feedback, measurements are taken in real time, as the athlete performs a skill or activity. Examples are the use of a heart rate monitor while running, or the use of kinematic technology to project joint angles on a screen during skills performance.

3. Immediate Feedback. Information given to the athlete immediately post-performance is called immediate feedback. It may be a quantitative measurement like power output or time, or more general verbal feedback from a coach or trainer. For example, the time it takes a swimmer to complete a given distance.

4. Session Feedback. This information is given after a training session or event, for example, reviewing a video of your football team’s practice session.

5. Seasonal Feedback. At the end of a season for a sport or event, the athlete’s or team’s performance for the entire season is reviewed.

Today, feedback technology is readily available on personal smart devices, and more athletes than ever are leveraging performance software to get feedback of all types, to up their game and stay competitive.

Types of Athletic Performance Feedback

There is a wealth of technology available to measure performance and provide feedback, but advanced systems can be costly, and institutions are reluctant to invest money without some evidence of their efficacy.
Here are three recent studies that support the use of real-time quantitative feedback to optimize athletic performance:

Types of Athletic Performance Feedback
  • In one study (Lintmeijer et al., 2019), collegiate rowers performed three training sessions to assess daily variations in compliance. During the first two sessions, one group of rowers received visual feedback on stroke rate and boat velocity, while the other two groups only received verbal feedback from the coach. In the final session, additional visual feedback on power output was provided using Android technology. Analyses results revealed that accuracy increased by 65%, and low-frequency variations improved by 32% when additional real-time quantitative feedback was provided.
  • A second study by Pulu et al. (2018) used Force Control technology to provide feedback to six elite male gymnasts during rings exercises. The system measured force variations during isometric contractions, with the athletes viewing the training task on a monitor, in real time, with a graphical representation. The research team concluded that the methodology allowed for accurate measurement of effort, and that providing real-time information on the quality of sports performance was effective for improving performance.
  • In a third study (Wilson et al., 2017) 15 rugby players were asked to perform a strength training exercise, with and without real-time quantitative performance feedback. Researchers concluded that feedback increased performance. In addition, as a result of feedback, the athletes demonstrated increased task competitiveness, higher levels of motivation, improved mood, and were able to manage higher workloads.

Quantitative Performance Feedback at NYDNRehab

The sports medicine team at NYDNRehab believes that accurate diagnosis requires careful analysis, with technological tools that give us quantitative data. Without measurable parameters, it is nearly impossible to restore full functional movement and optimize performance. Diagnosis based on symptoms alone leads to treatment approaches that address the symptoms, without resolving the underlying problem.

Once anomalies are identified and quantitative baseline markers are established, we can proceed with measurable treatment approaches that address the specific issues and pathologies involved. Using high-tech equipment that provides the patient with quantitative real-time feedback, our athletes are able to zero in on biomechanics and restore the brain-body connection that ultimately leads to full recovery and enhanced performance.

How a Sports Medicine Doctor can Help Improve Your Athletic Performance

How a Sports Medicine Doctor can Help Improve Your Athletic Performance

The Performance Lab at NYDNRehab features some of the most advanced diagnostic and training technologies in the world, housed under the roof of our private Manhattan sports medicine clinic.

Our technological toolbox includes:

  • High resolution diagnostic ultrasound, with capabilities for sonoelastography and superior microvascular imaging (SMI)
  • C.A.R.E.N, our computer assisted rehabilitation environment, with specialized software for analysis and feedback
  • Proteus Motion system, with collinear resistance and 3D arm
  • Zebis instrumented treadmill for 3D gait analysis and feedback

In addition, we leverage the most innovative therapies available to treat pain and dysfunction, along with physical therapy, chiropractic care and TeleHealth remote services for patients on the go.

Range of Available Unique Physical Therapy Treatments at Nydnrehab


About the Author

Dr. Lev Kalika is clinical director of NYDNRehab, located in Manhattan. Lev Kalika is the author of multiple medical publications and research, and an international expert in the field of rehabilitative sonography, ultrasound guided dry needling and sports medicine Dr. Kalika works with athletes, runners, dancers and mainstream clients to relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, enhance performance and minimize the risk of injuries. His clinic features some of the most technologically advanced equipment in the world, rarely found in a private clinic.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

Buy now 3D Gait
Payment Success
Request Telehealth Request Telehealth Request in office visit Book now