Kool-Aid Flavored Snake Oil in a Cup


The top clubs have learned these lessons (some the hard way) and don’t put much stock into single comprehensive packages from vendors and have instead built their own internal architectures that they control. This approach allows them to use the ‘best of breed’ tools where they make sense and have the flexibility to make changes when needed.

-Sports Data Hub

So now we are all drinking from the same Holy Grail? Elite sport is not alone in thinking the latest Dashboard from vendors will solve problems, and we are seeing the loose term algorithm everywhere. As predicted, SaaS is growing and is this a trend or eventual outcome of where we need to be? I am frightened in current sport because the basics and foundational information is so poor with the average coach. I just got an intern this summer, but really it’s a 12 week mentorship of deprogramming of all the hype. A few years ago Kevin Goodfellow was ahead of the time by anticipating big data and the need for a solution, but now I see that the reality is we are still not ready for it and when we are the window may be closed with open source options. His concepts are excellent, but the honesty in performance and sports medicine is not there. The truth is that very few people are doing what they need to do because the difference between great and winning the big one is talent and money. While some gaps have closed by sport science, the unpopular issue is that the CBA and other factors make good intentions neutralized. What Kevin envisioned is happening, and I am hopeful we will learn that we need to shop wisely on solutions.

A high profile consultant sent me a text reminding me of the Holy Grail from various SaaS providers for teams and organizations and I am doing the 180 and focusing on the human side. At the end of the day, Bob Alejo is right. You are going to eventually need to train, and not much has changed with the human body and training in 30 years. Sure some great advancements are there, but are we doing what works well? For example Marco Cardinale showed how Creatine is loosing popularity in research and now every coach wants the Kool-Aid beet flavored. This is got to stop.

I am guilty of promoting technology too much, hence why the next few blog posts before summer vacation is about resetting the direction to the human body. I will go analog while my intern is getting all the best data, such as Tensiomyography and HRV daily. I will be the native warrior and he will be the futurist sent back in time. So what to do?

Education– Conferences are good starting places but workshops are needed. To get momentum we need to sit down with people and just do it. If you can follow along then that’s a sign to catch up. If you want to play or tinker with things later don’t fool yourself. I have seen people year after year and glacier speeds is not a exaggeration with evolution. Go analog and pen and paper and leave the expensive paperless hype to Eliteform and other SaaS vendors. Big data? Please. Big data is real but only 1% of vendors are really dealing with realities.

Evidence- Place all of the data for the year into a folder and upload it to the cloud and share a timeline. Show exchanges or chat messages. Prove to everyone that miracles and proprietary algorithms are truly working. Now that the brain is en vogue, this is going to insane with nonsense. We still can’t do heart rate properly and we are interpreting things from games? What are the interventions for all of this? Medical data is also the hardest, what are people doing now when they have guys on the table? Using an intern to collect notes?

Engagement-If athletes are not engaged it doesn’t work period. If the process isn’t enriching it doesn’t matter if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. I do suggest hiring sales people for vendors to make their products better for users, not to sell to teams. If your product is good you don’t need sexy sales gimmicks. I should have put this number one, but this was just typed off the top of my head so forgive me.

I would start with the above factors and visit teams doing the magic data stuff. You will see the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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