Once you have over a certain threshold of data, you have to start building some models that give you an outlook on the probability of things happening, whether that’s performance, a potential injury, or something else. In isolation, the pieces of technology only have so much use. It’s how you build this complete profile of how a player does in training and in games that gives you the best power to predict what that player will do in a weekend and what they will do over X number of games.
Prediction is real, but so far how far can we really extrapolate data and see things happen in the future? It was interesting to see that Nate Silver predicted the Seahawks matching up against the Patriots for a Superbowl match up. I felt that two near coast to coast trips would doom them, but a hunch is not enough. Everyone is talking about the Signal and the Noise and data, but sometimes the noise is the signal, the the signal is just what we want to believe.
Recently the BJSM shared an intensive case study about a player getting 5 hamstring pulls in five months. At first I felt that Liverpool was cursed with bad luck as there was no way an athlete can keep getting injured like that. With the athlete having HRV, core training, special RTP programs, and the GPS tracking, why the injuries? The underlying issue is that data needs to be collected properly and I don’t see any real data besides a few tables or summary charts in the study. If the HRV was collected, why not share the data? If the running program was done, why not share the video of the technique if one is breaking down the mechanics? If one is doing therapy, why not share SOAP notes or even share the therapy? Obviously medical information can’t be public, but when you have Pau Gasol Tweeting pictures of his therapy on his feet it seems almost like a blue law.
What are solutions? The simple thing is to do the opposite. Return to Play times are being truncated to unrealistic time frames. Perhaps take the normal or longer time period to get back. What about doing read manual therapy instead of balls and rollers? What about lifting real weights instead of activation exercises? What about testing and evaluating with time tested options instead of popular trends we see on the net? I think we are going to see evolution here in the US with transparency being higher now with more and more social media.