Moneyball in Youth Sports

Competition is getting fiercer, and teams are using advanced technology to analyze data on both themselves, and their competition. Incorporating the use of smart data into your strategy could, literally, be a game changer for your team.


The Internet of Things (IoT)

Recent years have seen an explosion in data and performance analysis across all sports. Players and teams are taking advantage of the fastest growing technology available to collect data on just about every aspect of a workout, practice session, or anything else you can think of. It’s all done with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT, by definition, is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Athletes wear Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS) devices incorporating technologies such as GPS, magnetometers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers, all sending information back to a centralized system that can analyze all of the data. Some systems have the ability to measure 1,000 or more data points per second, recording speed, power, body temperature, heart rate, distance covered and many other key performance stats.

Athletes are being monitored with sensors that track every element of their performance from their heart rate to their location and their routine saliva tests. It’s all analyzed to provide coaches with clues to help them spot their future superstars. Players, themselves, are gaining a better understanding of the way their own bodies act under the stress of competition. In turn, they can use the data to fine-tune their workouts.

Imagine if you could live track data on your football players who are wearing these devices. You could be measuring heart rate, velocity, and distance.

Data Analysis

Every day companies, teams, and individuals are coming up with ways to capture more data and record more information about what’s happening across the playing fields and courts. Teams are now employing data specialists, dedicated to interpreting the facts and figures and making sure their teams get the most benefit from them.

These insights can help teams better understand the factors for success and the hurdles athletes will have to overcome to make it to the top of their game.

And behind it all is an ever-growing league of data analysts with a ton of data to wade through. Soccer pitch-side data analysts can collect details of 2,000 or so “events.” A typical 90-minute match can produce around 15 million data sets, a huge volume of valuable information. That growing goldmine of stats feeds into opposition analysis and tactical gameplans, both pre-match and during the action.

With the wearables and EPTS trackers, sensors measure more than a thousand data points per second. Now combine predictive analytics and machine learning with the expertise of physiotherapy and fitness coaches. Now players can receive personalized training schedules that tailor their workloads and dramatically reduce the risk of injury.

More Than Just a Computer

Putting all of this data into use requires vast amounts of storage, power, and processing capacity, especially if your team is looking to provide real-time analysis. It also requires system security and data protection, since the sports world is so competitive. IT systems need to have the necessary encryption, firewalls, and secure connection to minimize the threat of data loss.

For most teams and clubs, the most logical solution is to work with a suitable technology partner, reducing the need to build their own systems and infrastructure. That can save time and money, while also promoting data security.

There’s a Use For Everyone

Sports professionals aside, fitness enthusiasts and minor league athletes are connecting to their data, as well. Anyone interested in improving their health and fitness is adding a wearable to their gear and tracking their performance data.

With companies like Trackman, a golfer can diagnose his or her swing immediately by seeing what they’re doing wrong and why. Technology like this can help coaches coach better - more effectively and more efficiently.

In regards to golf, the sport is becoming more fun. It’s a very difficult sport to begin with because of all its complexities. So, if we can help younger players play better faster, we’re attracting more kids to the game. And, they’re staying in it because their enjoyment of the game largely depends on their success.

Harnessing the power of this big data can give teams and athletes at all levels a crucial edge in a vast arena. An arena where even seemingly small gains often can make all the difference in the world. While this has proven to be a big player, there still is no magic mirror. All of the stats, analysis, and intelligence can be overridden by human error, or a stroke of sporting genius.

Created as a means for coaches and players to take advantage of professional workouts and drills, Hustle Training has been quickly rising to one of the most popular sports drill apps available. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this growing startup maximizes your performance potential through fundamental advanced techniques with workouts and drills crafted by professional players, college coaches, and expert trainers.