Interviewing the Good Doctor and Former Pitcher, John D’Acquisto, Ph.D
- Updated: March 24, 2010
A few weeks ago, I connected with former pro baseball player turned doctor, John D’Acquisto, D.Sc. When asked about his professional playing days, when he earned his doctorate and the field he earned it in, he had this to say:
“I played for 16 years of professional baseball I started in 1971 Major League Spring training at the age of 19 with the Giants my first Major League Debut was 1973. I played 10 season in the Major Leagues with following teams: San Francisco Giants and (Great Fall Rookie League, Decatur, ILL, Fresno Cal league, Phoenix AAA), St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and (Hawaii AAA) also played winter baseball in Mexico for Tijuana Potros in Pacific Coast League of Mexico 1977-78, Montreal Expos, California Angels and (Salt Lake City AAA), Atlanta Braves and (Richmond AAA), Oakland A’s (Tacoma AAA), Chicago White Sox (Denver Bears AAA) Senior League Bradenton Explorers and Port St. Lucie Stars.”
He had earned his doctorate, “After my playing days. I had accumulated my education over a 12.5 year period.” Moreover, my focus was in, “Exercise Science Physiology. I finalized my degree 2004 from an online University and they credited my other educational credits that I had received in the past years.”
On why he became a doctor, D.Sc. after his playing days he said,”A friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in working with a company called Ariel Life Systems in La Jolla California. I went to the company back in 1990 and was fascinated on what the Ariel Performance analysis system could do. I worked with Dr. Gideon Ariel for about 3 years and analyzed a number of baseball players, PGA golf pros, Tennis Pros as well as Olympic athletes. I learned the principles of how the APAS system worked from Dr. Ariel and he was instrumental in teaching me biomechanics, along with how the body works in athletics as well as in general human performance. I stayed with the company for 3 years.
I continued coaching and evaluating athletes at the high school level at Eastlake High school in Chula Vista and I coached the United States Navy Baseball team out of San Diego California, which they are now called, The Red, White and Blue tour Military All-Stars. That gave me the opportunities to coach at other levels.
I was working a clinic in San Diego for the Perfect Game USA and ran across a company called Motion DNA. 3 years later, that same person contacted me; his name was Raul Martinez, who was the National Director of Sales and Marketing for the new company called JZZ Technologies, Inc. He asked if I would be interested in working for JZZ Technologies. I went in for my interview, they did a background check, and I had to disclose my past problems that I ran into. They were perfectly Ok with it and were happy to see that I was doing something constructive with my life. I have been a consultant for JZZ Technologies, Inc. for three years.
During those 12.5 years, he also had other jobs, “I was a Banker, a Trustee for a Trust, I worked in the banking industry as far back as 1973 with Bank Americard Visa in their athletic management training program. A number of athletes worked in this program. Such as Bob Babich, Ron Cey, Sal Bando, Dave Elmendorf, Jack Youngblood and others to name a few.
I worked in the banking industry for many years I the off season, with Bank of America, Sun Savings and Loan Association Loan Officer, Great American Savings Bank, First Commercial Bank out of Sacramento and, Doubleday Trust, DFG, Inc.
I have done a number of jobs and one of the most unique job I did was as a Fire Fighter while working for the Federal Government through San Bernardino Fire Department Boron Station 52 squad 52 search and rescue (when I was in minimum security Prison). That is were I continued my education and decided that I should do something better with my life and focus on what I really loved to do, which was Biomechanics. I attended classes through Cerro Coso Community College in Fire Science and EMT training as well a Hazmat First responder courses. After my release I worked in construction as a crane operator and supervisor, I coached Varsity baseball division 1 as a pitching coach for Eastlake High School were we won three consecutive Championships. I coached United States Navy Baseball team for 2 years as a volunteer; I continued my quest for betterment while continuing my education and completing my education and achieving my degrees in Exercise Science and Physiology, while working. Through those efforts, I was able to gain a position as Director of Research and Development for a company called Sorganics, Inc. We maintain affiliations with numerous industries including farming, aquaculture, golf, real estate, entertainment, manufacturing, distribution, sales as well as small deployment firms around the world in addition to its relationships with Major Corporation buying groups. These entities work together as a kind of virtual marketing and management firm, utilizing modern communications technologies.
We offer domestic and non-domestic “green” companies a reliable high quality alternative to in-house resources for new sales and business ventures on a worldwide scale.
My sole proprietorship JD Sports Consulting and Analysis is related to the work I do with E-Factor and E-fitness, ROM Tech (Range of Motion) technologies as a consultant.”
When asked about the company where he currently works and how it came into being, John told me that it “is a consulting firm, a sole proprietorship. There were numerous people requesting me to do analytical studies and consult to them on baseball primarily. It has since branched out into other sports. I also work with others in this field of analysis and injury prevention as a team. One in particular is Joe Hippensteel, a Master in Physio-Kinesiology; Joe focuses on Ultimate Human Performance (UHP) at the highest levels. Whether you play sports on the professional, high school, or collegiate level or you are just a weekend warrior, Joe can take your game to the highest level with his Ultimate Human Performance program.
The key to Mr. Hippensteel’s success is the “most advanced INTEGRATION” of all of the aspects of UHP as well as detailed understanding and use of the knowledge of Physical Therapists, Chiropractic, Myopractic, Massage Therapy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, kinesiology and visualization techniques, along with the most advanced methods of training and Injury Elimination Techniques developed by Joe called the Hipp 86TM Method. Joe has coached many elite athletes at several universities and the Olympic Training Center, has worked for Nike and has many professional athletes as clients.
I also work with a person named Bill Peterson of RPM Pitching Mechanics. Mr. Peterson demonstrates a unique ability to teach proper pitching mechanics with great results. RPM™ youth baseball pitching and throwing training programs designed to quickly and easily teach fundamentals of safe pitching and throwing mechanics. Learning and mastering skills takes time. RPM™ Advantage Baseball Programs provide fun benchmarks for youngsters to strive for and helps coaches teach these skills. (Please click here to see a note of caution about youth pitching and youth baseball pitching and throwing injuries.)
In his introduction to the LinkedIn Group we are both members of (Baseball Industry Network), John mentions an integral tool he uses with JD Sports Consulting and Analysis (JD Sports C & A) called E-Factor. Not knowing what it was or does I simply asked him about it and asked what he used before E-Factor.
“The E-Factor system was created by Jason Bodine of Rough Edge Software; LLC It is not exclusive to JD Sports Consulting and Analysis. I use this preferred system now. Before I used the Ariel Performance analysis system which is video motion capture, back in 1990 to 1993 were the E-Factor system is 3-D motion capture with motion sensor capabilities.
E-Factor is designed to provide a science-based physical assessment and biomechanics based training program to youth and adult athletes. Athletic Trainers, Coaches, Recruiters, Sport Specific Training Facilities, and Physical Therapists use this tool to enhance sports training programs, personal training programs and identify limitations and latent injuries that had previously hindered their client’s performance and quality of life.
E-Factor also provides health professionals with easy to use tools to accurately assess therapy needs for their clients. Practitioners are able to produce consistent, comparable range-of-motion readings every time a screening is completed. These tools remove the variability associated with the subjective observations by multiple practitioners and provide a practical means to validate therapy programs.”
Those answers lead me to my next question concerning motion capture. I have an idea of what it might be, but I thought it would be best to ask the good doctor. I then asked him how E-Factor was different from other motion capture systems.
“Motion capture has become a valuable tool in evaluating and improving biomechanics and technique. E-Factor takes it significantly farther by identifying physical limitations that are causing or will cause pain or injury and adversely impact biomechanics and technique. This information used is to recommend an exercise or treatment program to reduce the risk of injury, provide rehabilitation that is more effective and improve performance.
The majority of motion capture systems on the market today are video or camera based. While they are excellent tools, the more affordable systems still only offer a subjective view of the athlete’s motion. E-Factor is a truly objective tool.
- E-Factor uses sensors placed on the body to capture actual positional change as the individual moves. The measurements generated by the hardware used are accurate to within 1/10th of 1 degree and 1/100th of a millimeter.
- E-Factor can generate an EFI Report within minutes of capturing the motion data. The report includes the EFI Score (EFI = Efficiency Factor Impact) and an analysis breakdown of key factors in the motion.
- E-Factor is completely portable and is active in a matter of minutes.
E-Factor provides real time, comprehensive information that can be reviewed by your Doctor, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, or Personal Trainer.
E-Factor Eliminates Guesswork by providing solutions for:
Identifying physical limitations
Diagnosing pre-existing injuries related to biomechanics
Improving physical performance
(Formatting done by Dr. D’Acquisto)
The following are a few images, links and reports generated by E-Factor
Next, I had to ask how motion capture and E-Factor helps JD Sports C & A to assess an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, how it applied to the athlete and what kind of data are they recording? “E-Factor is a software program that Captures and evaluates biomechanical Efficiency in sports motion, exercise Technique, running, or other physical Activity.
E-Factor‘s sport specific tests identify imbalances or weaknesses that cause an athlete to be biomechanically inefficient creating a higher risk of injury. This information is used to assign an efficiency rating, or EFI Score, to the athletes motion and provide suggestions for improving his or her score through strengthening, conditioning, and or stretching the impacted areas. Using E-Factor and the EFI Score to create targeted training programs will help athletes become stronger, more consistent, and physically healthier.
E-Factor is used in physical therapy and occupational therapy settings to help refine and validate therapy programs. From basic range of motion to complex functional capacity evaluations, using E-Factor and ROMTech provides an objective, repeatable means to evaluate and validate progress. E-Factor uses the Liberty system by Polhemus, which gathers the data at 240 Hz per second.
The LIBERTY™” is the leading cost-effective solution for 6 Degree-Of-Freedom tracking and 3D digitizing. It is an expandable system that can accommodate one to sixteen sensors, making it perfect for a wide array of applications, from head tracking, biomechanical analysis and computer graphics to cursor control and stereotaxic localization, delivers a sweet spot combination of performance and value.
A quantum leap in 6 Degree-Of-Freedom tracking technology, LIBERTY is the fastest and most accurate electromagnetic tracker available. With scalable support for up to 16 sensors, it’s the indisputable forerunner in tracking technology. State-of-the-art digital signal processor (DSP) electronics, an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) and a host of the most advanced technical features available make LIBERTY the professional’s choice hands-down.
Unprecedented Speed, Stability and Resolution
Exclusive advancements in digital signal processor technology have enabled Polhemus to develop the world’s fastest tracker. LIBERTY tracks objects at a speed of 240 updates per second. Regardless of how many sensors are in use, the update rate remains constant, with LIBERTY outputting a clean data stream. For applications requiring less data, LIBERTY also has 120Hz update rate.
LIBERTY’s blazingly fast 240Hz update rate makes it the perfect system for tracking high-speed events such as a golf swing or an athlete’s fast-paced movement. For virtual reality applications, LIBERTY performs real time head and body tracking. With virtually no latency, LIBERTY is the highest quality solution for military and simulation applications.
LIBERTY’s DSP technology works in conjunction with the system’s AC magnetics to deliver improved signal-to-noise ratios. Increased range, stability and resolution are realized. LIBERTY offers remarkable accuracy of .03 RMS for X, Y and Z position and .15° RMS for orientation.
Designed for Ease of Use and Power
LIBERTY includes a streamlined and intuitive Windows® 2000/XP user interface that’s stocked with useful tools. Four independent user-definable profiles allow setting system parameters such as filtering, output formats, coordinate rotations and more. This valuable feature makes LIBERTY the preeminent tracker for accommodating multiple users or applications. An integrated motion box provides navigable points of view for visualization and is also capable of displaying text data. Additional features include data recording and playback, plus rapid data exporting via Microsoft™ Named Pipe.
Polhemus understands that creating groundbreaking solutions requires the right tools. That’s why LIBERTY includes a comprehensive and straightforward software developer’s kit (SDK). The SDK features API libraries that facilitate easy integration into custom applications.
LIBERTY connects to any PC via an RS-232 or USB connection. Within moments after unpacking the LIBERTY system, it will be up and running. LIBERTY’s environmental calibration software allows rapid calibration, two Systems in One…
The optional stylus expands LIBERTY’s already robust capabilities by converting it into a 3D digitizer. With the stylus, you can collect dimensions of artifacts, archaeological items and museum sculptures, or compile measurements of anatomical features, body volumes, joint relationships or body contours. Capturing data with the ergonomically designed stylus is as simple as pressing a button.
Scalable to Meet Your Needs
Two different base LIBERTY systems are available to meet your needs and budget. The LIBERTY 240/8 system includes four sensor channels. Adding a circuit board to its chassis expands the system to 8 sensor channels. The LIBERTY 240/16 system also natively includes four sensor channels, but can be upgraded to 8, 12 or 16 channels within the same chassis.
LIBERTY includes a system electronics unit (SEU), one sensor and one source. Options such as additional sensors, a longer range source and a stylus are available.
Figures (a) and (b) show details of the sensor connection ports on the back of the LIBERTY chassis.
Advanced AC Technology
Polhemus pioneered AC motion tracking and has refined and perfected the technology through numerous generations. Unlike products based on pulsed DC technology, Polhemus trackers are not negatively affected by the earth’s magnetic field, power outlets or electric motors. Because AC tracking is also more accurate and faster, it’s clearly the superior choice. In fact, Polhemus originated pulsed DC technology, but chose not to pursue it because of performance shortcomings.
Each of LIBERTY’s sensors can independently detect environmental distortion. The user is instantly alerted to make the appropriate changes as required. This advanced feature delivers the ultimate assurance: count on LIBERTY to get the job done right, every time.
There is no need to worry about maintaining a clear line-of-sight between the sensor and source. Unlike sonic or laser devices, LIBERTY is not affected by signal blocking and interference.
|Number of Sensors||1-16|
|Update Rate||240 Hz per sensor)|
|Static Accuracy Position||0.03in|
|Static Accuracy Orientation||0.15° RMS|
|Resolution Position at 30cm range||0.00015in 0.0004cm|
|Range from Standard TX2 Source||Up to 5 feet or 1.52 meters|
|Extended Range Source||Up to 15 feet or 4.6 meters|
|Interface||RS-232 or USB (both included)|
|Host OS compatibility||GUI/SDK 2000/XP|
Aside from the pictured test of a batter, I asked John what other baseball specific tests does he use with E-Factor & why is he using it as opposed to another? He replied, “Pitching and hitting evaluations. Our data is accurate and is objective were other programs are a subjective format.”
I’d like to thank John D’Acquisto, Ph.D. for both his time and cooperation with this interview. Sorry it took so long to put together.