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Editorial Roundtable: Building An All-Encompassing Performance Suite

Editorial Roundtable: Building An All-Encompassing Performance Suite
Fitness & Sport

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats on the partnership opportunities available in health and fitness

Bogar Alonso
  • 27 october 2016

PSFK’s Editorial Roundtable series takes its inspiration from the traditional roundtable: bringing together industry insiders to share their insights on emerging and compelling trends in an idea-friendly manner. PSFK guides the discussion and our roundtable helps guide the future.

Sports are the ultimate meritocracy. And so, athletes, coaches, trainers, statisticians, broadcasters, and diehard fans cringe at the use of any unfair advantage that lies outside the realm of strategy and god-given talent. (Think: performance-enhancing drugs). They perhaps do so little knowing that, as PSFK Labs‘ latest report, the Sports Debrief, tells us, the Future of Sport not only promises untold performance enhancement but will come to be defined by it. Think: performance-enhancing analytics, performance-enhancing immersive training, even performance-enhancing sensory deprivation tanks in which your mind and spirit are treated to their own heightening.

How will amateur and professional athletes alike come to adapt to a future defined by performance-enhanced sports? How will performance enhancement come to change and evolve the sport of sports? And what market opportunities exist for companies and brands—whether they’re operating inside of the arena of athletics or outside of it—in the Future of Sport?

Our Sport Debrief experts include:

Will Ahmed | Founder and CEO of WHOOP – the performance optimization system that helps elite athletes and teams win.

Davyeon Ross | Co-Founder and COO of ShotTracker – the first piece of affordable, wearable technology for basketball players who want to improve shooting performance by automating the tracking of shot attempts, makes and misses.

Sergio Radovcic | Founder of STYR Labs – a customization and tracking platform offering optimized performance to users through a suite of connected devices, personalized supplements and nutritional data.

David Leventhal | Owner of Lift / Next Level Floats – the East Coast’s largest sensory deprivation-slash-floatation therapy center, located in Brooklyn.

Chen Shachar | CEO of PlaySight – a smartcourt company that is connecting the next generation of athletes through an interactive social community born from the combination of elite video and analytics tech.

Adam Tilton | CEO and Co-Founder of Rithmio – creators of motion recognition software used in the making of next-gen wearables.

George Foreman III | Founder of EverybodyFights – an award-winning boxing gym and training program that offers FightFuel nutrition counseling, a personalized and free-flowing guide that is paired to a user’s workout regiment.

(Below is the second part of a three-part editorial).

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NBA players are using wearables to monitor their sleep and recovery. NFL teams have set up sensory deprivation tanks inside of their gyms. Teams of all skill levels are using video analysis tools for improved play. But when will we begin to see available performance-enhancing services and technologies play off each other and start to integrate themselves into a comprehensive or all-encompassing suite? Are there any current partnership examples we can point to?

George Foreman III | Founder of EverybodyFights

“We are in the age of the Internet of Things, and companies like NEST are showing us the benefit of connected technology and integration. So I would say fitness and sports will follow suit and go in the direction of some sort of an all-encompassing suite, but many of the latest performance-enhancing services are so specific and technical that it’s hard to imagine a company being successful at doing them all, they really are specialties. And when you’re dealing with the health and safety of individuals, it makes it even more important to master your craft.”

Chen Shachar | CEO of PlaySight

“PlaySight is building a global platform that can integrate all information needed by an athlete/coach—from on-court sensors and wearables. We are soon rolling out partnerships across many sports to create a true end-to-end integration and solution for athletes. From recovery to practice to performance, and from data and analytics to video and coaching analysis.

The reason that this hasn’t been done yet is that it is a huge undertaking. There are many companies succeeding by focusing on a very small piece of the pie: from statistics and tagging platforms to streaming services to apps and smart sensors, wearables, and clothing. We are excited about some of our potential partnerships to bring an end-to-end solution to many of the world’s most popular sports, and look forward to sharing more in the near future.”

David Leventhal | Owner of Lift / Next Level Floats

“Many performance-enhancing services and technologies can and should be utilized together for more effective results. Floatation is a great tool for athletes, but it can be used more effectively when its use is informed by data from wearables. For example, athletes are using heart rate monitors and dedicated apps such as Bioforce HRV, ithlete, and Elite HRV to measure, track and analyze their heart rate variability (HRV) and which can signal when the athlete is overtrained. These apps can thus be used by the athlete to determine when the use of a recovery modality such as floatation would be most beneficial. Similarly, an athlete can use data from a sleep tracker to determine when to use floatation therapy as a sleep aid, since floatation has been shown to improve sleep quality and fight insomnia. Services that integrate the data from various types of wearables would yield even better information and allow even more targeted decision-making, but it appears that most companies in the wearable space are currently pursuing closed platforms.”

Davyeon Ross | Co-Founder and COO of ShotTracker

“The integration of all of the technologies coming into the sports world is inevitable. Many of these technologies provide substantial benefits just by themselves, but the juxtaposition of these different technologies is where we will see the most significant value. The integration of data provides context. The ability to take multiple types of data (e.g. sleep, heart rate, load, distance travelled, and intensity) and integrate them with statistical performance based data, video and others—this is the Holy Grail.

For instance, how do multiple factors like ‘sleep, heart rate, minutes of play’ correlate with points scored, or even more specifically, free throw percentage (as an example). Much of this data is being integrated by performance analytics experts in elite level organizations, however, in the near future we will see tools and solutions that are affordable and accessible to every single level of the game.”

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Sergio Radovcic | Founder of STYR Labs

“Teams with better data will win. George Halas started with video analysis and today we have hundreds of additional measurement and analytics vehicles to improve the individual dynamics. However, advanced person-to-person connectivity will play a big role in team sports. Being able to share real time results during training, and potentially match play, will change the way coaches evaluate fatigue, capabilities and injuries (or potential injuries). Things such as gait analysis, or temperature changes can be incredible indicators if interpreted in real time. Of course, the question of ethics and competitiveness will arise and leagues will have to make decisions regarding on-court use of such technologies, in a way cycling teams had to deal with radios and remote monitoring.”

Adam Tilton | CEO and Co-Founder of Rithmio

Under Armour’s UA Record is a great example of where things are headed. First, it provides a holistic experience for the athlete by taking into account how they slept, what they ate and how they performed. Also the product functions as both a platform and a product. Athletes interact with the UA Record app directly, or if they use a third party application that is integrated with UA Record their data is aggregated in one place.”

Will Ahmed | Founder and CEO of WHOOP

“Many conversations around integration of data are happening behind the scenes. At WHOOP, we love data and we’ve had many conversations with partners around this. The more data you can collect, the more conclusions you can drive. Many of our pro teams are also committed to data integration. When everyone is incentivized in the same direction, you typically see results fast.”

Download PSFK’s Sports Debrief to gain insight into how emerging tools, technologies and service models are evolving the sports world and pushing athletes ahead of the competition. Take advantage of the full findings, and exclusive articles to understand how the latest wearable tech, dietary routines and cognitive techniques can unlock actionable lessons in your work.

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Note: If you would like to participate in a coming PSFK Editorial Roundtable, please contact us here.

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