Many of today’s premier professional athletes create a substantial data footprint every time they go out to compete – and perhaps even more so when they practice. In a rapidly growing $20B+ wearable technology market, high-performance athletes and their ‘team’ (coaches, trainers, physical therapists, team doctors, team analysts etc.) are constantly finding innovative ways to gain insight into various aspects of player performance.
The tremendous growth in the IoT and sports data aggregation markets has been a huge leap forward for sports analytics; professional sports teams and athletes have invested millions in incorporating data-driven principles into team and player development. With a wealth of tools and interesting data to explore, professional athletes and their staff need to align on a sound strategy for performance analysis and training.
Factors such as physical attributes (i.e. body type, flexibility, injuries, etc.), technique, and past performance are invaluable data points whose value is contingent on the ability to produce actionable insights. Due to the long list of potentially relevant variables, athletic performance and its core drivers and detractors can be quite nebulous, even with the data on-hand. The inherent ‘noisiness’ that this creates in the data can make it challenging to derive actionable insights from.
The modern athlete can gain substantial competitive edge through a keen understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. Professional athletes and their staff can use AI to establish that edge by isolating various potential training options to predict their impact on performance and performing a what-if analysis on different regimens to choose the most effective one.
The factors contributing to athletic performance are highly complicated and vary greatly athlete to athlete, making it difficult to uncover valuable insights through simple statistical summary methods. AI is a friend of complex, non-linear problems like these and can be a tremendous resource for exploring challenging questions around how to get the most out of an athlete’s physical and technical abilities. This makes it possible to produce custom training plans with a new level of personalization based on a holistic analysis of a large number of attributes of an athlete. With all of the effort and capital committed to pushing the bounds of athletic excellence, AI-driven analytics strategies are what will fuel the next generation of world-class athletes to set new bars for physical human achievement.