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K Lab Helps Athletes to Achieve Full Potential

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. -- Using an array of cutting-edge technologies, physicians and exercise physiologists at a specialized laboratory at Duke University Medical Center are helping athletes reach their full potential and avoid potentially season-ending injuries.

The Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Laboratory is named after the 25-year head coach of Duke's men's basketball team. Known simply as the K Lab, it has for the past seven years been using the latest in technology to provide coaches with insights into how best to train each individual athlete.

"Ask Coach K and I think he'll tell you he uses the data points he gets in our testing report to evaluate the players three times a year to dial up or down his practices," said Claude T. Moorman, M.D., director of sports medicine at Duke. "He really gets a barometer of where they are so they can peak in March, which is really when we want the guys going full speed."

The approach at the K Lab is two-fold – to measure performance to help guide and monitor individualized training programs, and to better understand the forces and mechanics of specific athletic activities with an eye toward developing strategies to prevent injury.

"The athletes may be doing something really hard with great passion, but they're doing it wrong," Krzyzewski said. "With some of the studies we do, we can lead them into the right direction and to me that's wonderful when that happens. When you go in and get checked out, you're able to start that race with a great level of confidence. And then you can run that race hard and you can run it with great determination knowing that you have a chance to win."

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