Harnessing Collaboration and Innovation to Improve Athletic Performance

Posted by Pine Crest School on November 8, 2018 at 3:43 PM

Pine Crest School alumnus Daniel Fine ‘13 is laser-focused on revolutionizing athletic performance.  It was during a summer internship experience while he was studying at the University of Tampa that Daniel came up with an idea.

“I originally came up with the idea of adding a reactionary element to the agility ladder,” said Daniel. “I was interning at an athletic performance gym where athletes trained using agility ladders. Throughout the summer, they got better and faster, but there was no correlation between the drill and their game performance.”

Daniel’s idea is to install LED light bulbs into panels on the sides of an agility ladder.


“We are still working on the concept, but the lights would be controlled by bluetooth through an app or with a remote,” he said. “When the user turns on one light, the person training has to switch out of the ladder. The main difference between my design and existing agility ladders is the reactionary element. The current ladder helps change direction and improve speed, but it does not have a reactionary element.”

The product is meant to help athletes, people in a rehab setting, as well as geriatric patients looking to move better. Daniel believes his ladder has potential to expand into smaller devices for in-home use and the general population to help people move better, quicker, and more efficiently.

Through the Upper School Zimmerman Family iLab faculty, Daniel was introduced to Pine Crest senior David Edelson ’18, who is working on creating the physical product — the panels where the lights will be inserted. David is a self identified “lab rat” and can usually be found tinkering or designing in the iLab. As a member of the Fatherboards robotics team, learning how to design and create elements for a robot was a necessity.

“Last year was the first year of the robotics teams, and the iLabs too,” said David. “I did not know much about computer aided design (CAD) software, but our robotics coach encouraged all of us to learn more about it. I started teaching myself how to use it through YouTube tutorials. Then I found a CAD training course over the summer. I was the only high school student in the class.”

The CAD software has been instrumental in bringing Daniel’s product to life. Using it, David has created two iterations of light panels that he has then printed using a computer numerical control (CNC) mill, which is a machine that prints, or rather carves, three-dimensional designs from pieces of plastic, wood, or metal.

Now with a functional prototype on the horizon, Daniel is speaking with potential investors, as well as a patent attorney.

“Once we have the prototype, we can start working on the financials and then the initial round of production,” said Daniel.  

When asked what advice he would share with new graduates, Daniel said, “anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it, have a plan, and have the right people to support you. Anyone with the commitment, who is willing to put in the time can make what they want happen. We [alumni] have had the opportunity at Pine Crest to meet great people — take advantage of that! You never know how people may be able to help you.”

Daniel recently became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is now enrolled in Nova Southeastern University's Professional Physical Therapy (DPT) Program.

Read more from The Magazine's Fall 2018 Issue.

Topics: Innovation, Upper School, Athletics, Alumni, Design Thinking