We all know the margin between winning and losing is tiny. And on the professional or collegiate level, a win or a loss can be the difference between having a job and looking for one.
That’s why coaches are always looking for that little edge, and today, more than ever, the edges exist in the form of information.
Traditionally, that meant gathering as much knowledge as possible about your opponents through scouting or film study. But more and more coaches are gathering data on their own players to find that competitive edge.
The Seattle Seahawks, for example, ask their players to “Do it better than it’s ever been done before.” A blog post on Microsoft’s Transform, talks about how the Seahawks are helping their players do it better.
Seahawks’ applied sports scientist Dean Riddle, is applying data and cutting-edge methodology to help players achieve their best potential.
“We believe we’re doing really important work for our players, providing them with critical information that is timely so that they have the best possible chance to shine,” he told Transform writer Athima Chansanchai. “Using technology to help players maximize their health and preparedness enables them to go out and achieve their full potential on the field.”
Unless you are a billionaire, you don’t have the same resources as the Seahawks. They are owned by Paul Allen, and he’s worth a reported $17.8 billion. While Allen owns the Seahawks, the Seattle Sounders MLS team, the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, and 414-foot yacht, the parents on your team chip in to pay your gas mileage.
But you can do exactly what Riddle is doing – use critical, timely information so the players have the best possible chance to shine.
DRIVN has trackers that allow coaches, parents and players to understand reasons why they are performing well or poorly. It starts with short questionnaires based on whatever the coach feels is important to measure.
“We allow the coaches to customize. Our system is flexible enough to give you specifically what you need,” says DRIVN Vice-President of Business Development Mike Gosselin. “By working with a wide variety of clubs with different needs, and talking to a diverse group of coaches and directors who want to ask different questions and gather different information, we are very flexible, which just opens more possibilities for every club using DRIVN.”
Aside from giving your team an edge, DRIVN also helps educate young players about the factors that play into performance.
“The questionnaires have algorithms behind it to understand where that player was. The coaches can look at it and review it with the players or parents,” says Gosselin. “They write notes about times when they played well, and they figure out why. It gets the players to understand how all those things impact their performance.
“Youth sports are expensive for parents, and it’s great to see clubs going above and beyond. It’s great to see clubs talking to players about their performance, mindset and their routines.”
When Seahawks Director of Player Health and Performance Sam Ramsden established the team’s sports science department six years ago, he started tapping into the things DRIVN can do for your youth club.
“Coach Carroll wanted to bring something new and different to the Seahawks, a realm of performance that was untapped in their players. It’s a realm not about x’s, o’s, strategy or meetings, but about what players do to get themselves ready to play. The readiness comes in when players start focusing on the importance of data-driven decision making to maximize performance. How they eat, how they sleep, how they think and even how they move.”