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SBJ Webinar Presented By Kitman Labs

Jeff Ferguson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Carrie Rubertino Shearer (Baylor University), Justin Bokmeyer (MLS Next), Stephen Smith and Dan Kaufman talk about leveraging data and technology to drive performance, collaboration and informed-decision making across their organizations.


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Dan K 00:03
Hey everyone, welcome to this episode of SPJ Live. I’m Dan Kaufman; I am the Managing Director of Sports Technology at Sports Business Journal. Thank you so much for being here. This episode, powering human performance using data and Tech to unlock athlete performance, is presented by our friends at Kitman Labs. In a moment, I will pass it on to our panelists to do a very quick introduction, and then we’ll get right into the conversation. But before I do that, if you’ve been on an SPJ, Live episode with me before, you know, my spiel, I have one request. And that’s why I want your interaction. I’m so glad you all are here to join us. We’ve got really smart people here on the panel. But I know we also have a ton of really smart people in the audience. So what does that mean? I’d love it. If everyone would introduce themselves in the chat. If you just take a moment and say hello, in the chat. On the right-hand side, you can say who you are, where you’re coming from, and what you do. And if you see people who are introducing themselves as well, feel free to say hello to them. It makes for a much better show, frankly, when we get that participation from you. And then the second part of that is there’s a questions tab right next to the chat tab. That’s where we want your questions. I’ve got a ton of questions. But we want audience questions. We’ll go for about 35 to 40 minutes; we’ll probably stop around kind of the Eastern time in the US 1:05 to 1:10 mark. So don’t wait till the end to give me your questions. Make sure you ask them at any time. And as you see questions coming in, you can upvote questions that you want to make sure that we get to. Okay. All right. Well, have a great time over the next half hour. Thank you all for being here. Let’s jump in and get started. Again, this is ‘Powering Human Performance using Data and Tech to Unlock Athlete Performance. I’ve got four great panelists, and I’m gonna give them about 30 seconds just to say who they are and what they do. And then we’ll jump right in. And I’ll start with Jeff. Jeff, go ahead. Jeff, you’re muted.

Jeff Ferguson 02:06
Thanks, Dan.

Dan K 02:08
You’re welcome.

Jeff Ferguson 02:10
It’s been a long offseason. So anyway, no worries. Yeah. Listen, I really appreciate the opportunity to join my colleagues here, and thanks for putting this together. Jeff Ferguson, I’m the Vice President of Player Health and Performance for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dan K 02:29
Thank you, Jeff. Carrie.

Carrie 02:35
Thanks, Dan. I’m also honored to be with this group. And I’ve enjoyed getting to know everyone on this panel. My name is Carrie Rupertino Shearer. I’m the Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Medicine at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. And I’ve been here about five years. And I also get to serve as a Sport Program Administrator with Track and Field.

Dan K 02:56
Excellent. Thank you, Carrie, Justin.

Justin 02:59
Thanks, Dan. Definitely appreciate it being here. So I’m the General Manager of MLS Next, which is the elite youth development program for Major League Soccer with about 13,000 players in it. Excited to be here.

Dan K 03:16
Thanks, Justin. And before I get to Stephen, just a reminder to the audience that’s joining us a little bit later, make sure you introduce yourself in the chat. And then also give us your questions. We’ll go for about 35 to 40 minutes, and we want your questions throughout. So don’t wait till the end. Steven, go ahead and give an intro of yourself, and then I’ll probably just pitch it to you to tell us a little bit about Kitman labs, and then we’ll dive right in.

Stephen 03:37
Sure. I’m Steven Smith. I’m the CEO and founder of Kitman Labs background where I’ve spent my entire career working in professional sports. So I’m going to be an Athletic Trainer by trade and a certified Strength and Conditioning coach. And this whole concept and idea was born out of a passion that I had from my career and where it all started in pro sport.

Dan K 03:56
Excellent. Well, we’re really happy that you’re here. Tell us about Kitman Labs; you know, what are the most important things you guys are doing right now? What do you aim to tackle in the future?

Stephen 04:05
Yeah, listen, I think we, as I said, were founded out of a need and a desire to do more for our teams, our athletes, and our sports. We’re practitioners and data scientists who spent their entire careers consumed by the question of how to optimize human achievement. And I think this background has led us on a mission to use data as a starting point to create custom plans for leagues for governing bodies and teams that redefine and help them to reach the pinnacle of human performance. Right. And the vision for the intelligence platform is to provide our partners with one configurable cloud-based platform with many solutions that allow them to transform what was once a very fragmented landscape of data into shared intelligence that propels collaboration, and communication and ultimately unlocks new limits of human performance. So today, we work with over 1000 teams globally across more than 40 leagues worldwide, and we help our partners care for over 150,000 athletes with over 250 or 220 staff located all over the world. And we’ve raised close to $100 million to feel this journey so far, which has been incredibly exciting.

Dan K 05:13
Well, we’re grateful to partner with you on this this episode of SPJ Live and also grateful for the three other panelists that we have here. Because I think with your help, and with your team, so Stephen, we’ve put together a really interesting balance of people working in this space, right, we’ve got we’ve got Jeff at the professional level, we’ve got Carrie at the collegiate level, and we’ve got Justin at the youth level. And so that’s kind of have broken up my questions just so the audience knows how it broke up my questions here; we’ll start at the professional level, right, like examining how we use data and tech to empower human performance at the professional level. And we’ll start with Jeff, and then we’ll kind of go to collegiate and youth, but we’ll mix everyone in throughout. Okay, so I start with you, Jeff, obviously, at the professional level; I think it’s really interesting to start there. Maybe just tell us a little bit about your current responsibilities with the Jags. And then the verticals you oversee and, you know, from medical to nutrition, it’s really interesting. So go ahead.

Jeff Ferguson 06:07
Sure. Well, you know, by trade, I guess I should say, I’m an Athletic Trainer, by trade. And just fortunate enough, at least here in Jacksonville, we have, you know, look, there’s a lot of buzzwords and terms and things out there. We have, you know, more of a player-centric model, a collaborative process. In my role, I oversee sports medicine or the medical oversee, strength and conditioning, oversee our performance science department, as well as nutrition, and behavioral health or mental health. And so that’s sort of what we like to coin our player-centric model. So.

Dan K 06:54
So that’s a lot, right? I mean, you mentioned multiple verticals there. Talk to me a little bit about maybe the challenges that you have faced or currently face when it comes to making sure that information is shared within those verticals, nutrition, medicine, whatever it might be. Sure.

Jeff Ferguson 07:10
And listen, we all, we all start meetings, end meetings, and we talk about communication, right? That in any line of business, any fashion of formal work, it’s communication, whether it’s with my wife and I at home, and things break down, it’s communication, whether it’s here between strength and conditioning, and nutrition, or medical. And I think what we’ve seen now is, you know, the landscape has shifted, at least at the professional level; it used to be strength and conditioning; you were responsible for getting the guy stronger and faster; medical, you treated the injured players, nutrition, you feed them, you know, that’s not the approach anymore. There are large numbers of staff now, 20-25 men and women, that the communication is critical. So, you know, the exciting thing for me and a good look, it’s about the people, right that you have in the different departments. So, for us, when we utilize Kitman, we not only we have kind of twofold. One, we utilize Kitman in the National Football League for our electronic medical records, EMR system. I took that a step further. We also utilize Kitman as our Athlete Management System. So, leveraging that data and being able to take all that data, not create duplication, okay, and being able to pull that together. That’s how we can function at a high level. And we avoid miscommunication. It’s the backbone of keeping us operating if you will.

Dan K 08:58
Yeah. And I’m gonna ask this question. And Stephen, if you want to jump in, feel free as well. But you know, is it you talking about communication? Is it as simple as saying, okay, hey, player development team, here’s the data set? And that’s it. And this data set says you should do this. No, really dive in there. What more do we need to be doing beyond just handing the data over? Here it is, and that’s it?

Stephen 09:22
Yeah, from my perspective, I think Jeff just nailed with what he said and that it isn’t this, you know, fragmented place where, you know, the strength coach lives in this in the weight room and nowhere else or this sports medicine practitioner lives in the treatment room and nowhere else. It’s the Knights of the Roundtable approach, right? It’s everybody together. So, you know, it’s communication and collaboration. And I think all of that comes from shared understanding, right? That’s the key to it. You can’t communicate, communicate effectively; you can’t collaborate effectively if you don’t have shared understanding. So if I’m in Jeff’s role, how do I manage the recovery of our athletes when I don’t understand what’s needed of them on the field? LikeI can’t; I need to have accurate information, I need to have the detail of what’s happening in practice. I need to understand what’s coming up and what’s needed of the athletes. In the next game, I need to know what’s happening in them in the gym. I need to know how they’ve, how they’ve recovered and responded to what happened yesterday. And if I’m a coach, how do I build an effective practice plan without the understanding of the current state of my athletes? How have they recovered any medical modifications that may be needed? Or even what’s needed from them again in preparation for the next game? And I think, if we, as an industry, continue to force practitioners to operate in isolated systems, to manage health and practice and performance and recovery and nutrition, etc, in isolated places, we’re not going to be able to consistently support success. And that’s why we exist, right? That’s what gets us excited every day. We want to change the world of high performance forever. And that’s the mission that we’re on.

Dan K 10:58
Jeff, I mean, Thank you, Stephen. Jeff, Have you seen, like, can you tell us about specific, tangible results that you’ve seen as a result of combining data sets, you know, whether it’s medical combined with performance, what positive results? Have you seen it?

Jeff Ferguson 11:13
The positive Dan is, again, and let me dispel the myth here; by utilizing the platform that we have, we are actually able to simplify the process. Okay, we’re able to simplify the process, we’re able to streamline that information so that it’s clear and concise, and we can discuss that better. Okay. It gives us our roadmap if you will. And then we lean on the experts in the different departments to collaborate, whether it’s nutrition with strength and conditioning, or medical with nutrition, or behavioral health with strength and conditioning, to formulate strategies. You know, look, it’s, we see it’s changed; the athlete has changed over the years. And there’s a lot more individualization that goes on that the athletes want. And, you know, with that being said, we’re able to formulate these individual-type plans. And it’s just been critical, and the focus has been more, which is a good thing. It’s been more on the wellness aspect. Okay. So used to in the training room, you would see players when they were injured, or they had issues, right, I look out any given day, and I see, you know, 10-15 players, and I asked what the heck’s wrong with this player or that? Nothing. They want to do activation prime, they want to do certain things, we take that information, we take that data, and we can formulate really good individualized plans for recovery, for training, for their nutrition, and how we kind of monitor and manage those. And as Stephen kind of indicated earlier to, you know, with our performance science department, we’re able to take a lot of that information. And we sit with Coach Peterson, and we sit with Coach Peterson, and it actually helps him when he develops his practice plans. No, very seldom do we ever use the data to hold a guy from practice, okay, because if we’re doing that, I’m not doing something right. We have enough information now, with our platform, that we’re able to utilize recovery techniques and tracking that we should be able to, you know, get ahead of that. It should We should be proactive with that, not reactive. And I think that’s a key component as well.

Dan K 13:52
Yeah. You mentioned the individualism of the athlete and Carrie. I’m gonna jump to you just momentarily. But back to Stephen Stephen, in our prep call. You talked about understanding the individual individuality of the athlete and not an exact quote, but I’m paraphrasing a little bit. Tell me more about that. How do you? How does taking all these reams of massive amounts of data help you understand the individual athlete and help you guys produce a better quality athlete on the field?

Stephen 14:19
Well, I think again, to kind of champion what Jeff just said, the reason that we all have their start, and you know why I kind of went on this journey was sitting in a very similar seat to Jeff, where Jeff is today. And we were trying to understand, like, how do we provide that level of individualization? And how do we ensure that the data that we’re using is guided towards keeping the athletes out there? It’s not about looking at how much distance somebody has run and saying they ran too much. It’s about ensuring that we can put our best athletes on the field. It’s about ensuring that we can optimize them and individualize their recovery for them to ensure that they can go and do what’s needed of them. It’s about understanding every aspect of who they are. And I think you’re just starting points for that. It says every athlete is in a unique place; they have their own background, they have their own strengths and weaknesses, they have their own habits, their own lifestyle outside of sport, their own role to play in both the team and individual performance. And if we want to maximize their potential and help them to unlock the limits of their potential, we need to be able to understand this individuality, and we have to be able to adapt how we manage them to account for this; we simply cannot do this without data or without seamless data sharing or without shared understanding and established practices and processes to make effective decisions. So for us, everything starts and ends with the fact that every athlete is unique. And our role is to help them unlock the limits of their own accomplishment.

Dan K 15:45
Carrie, as you’re listening to Stephen and Jeff talk, and you know, obviously, at the professional level, it’s, there’s one, I think, there are capabilities that you may not yet have at the collegiate level if I can be so fair as to say, would you agree with that? What sort of adoption have you seen? Where are you at the collegiate level when it comes to the type of data collection, using technology to collect data, share data, and communicate among different groups so that you can put the best athlete out there on the field?

Carrie 16:19
Yeah, so we, you know, instead of just having one team, Jeff gets to work with, you know, one team; I have relatively like 19 different teams. So this tool has let each team though, work individually as well. So there are certain expectations, each area is going to have some nutrition, they’re expected to document athletic medicine expected to document strength and conditioning is going to put their information in, but then how each of those care teams utilizes it has been what my group has loved in terms of being able to apply like so soccer is a great example, our soccer coach, she wants certain parameters seen that helps her make informed decisions about practices. So the people that are involved, the strength and conditioning coach, nutrition, athletic trainer, they’ve actually worked together than to create dashboards with Kitman to show our coach then what she wants to see. So they’ll pull the wellness in, they have a flag on there, that flag will trigger the athletic trainer or the strength coach or the nutritionist to have a conversation with the athlete of, hey, what’s going on? What do you need for mental health? That’s another space that I didn’t mention that’s on there as well. So their dashboard can be seen by those, they don’t have the coach pulling that in yet, but they print off forms to give to the coach; that will be something that they’ll pull in eventually. But then mental health can also see that flag, whether they want to reach in right away to have the conversation or if the athletic trainer wants to have it. But that whole care team is now empowered. So it’s not all falling on one person. We’ve also been able to use data for other reasons. We utilize it within our so AMS for the athlete, but also AMS for us as a staff to make decisions about do we need to purchase another laser for our staff. Because we have it getting used at a high level? So do we need it for another athletic training room? Diagnostics, how many athletes are seeing our physicians? And so do we need to bring another physician on board so it’s helping for the individual athlete plan? And then it’s also helping us in other ways, which still, I guess, funnels straight to the athlete because the more doctors care you have right, you’re going to provide a higher quality of care. But I think the collaboration amongst all our units has really grown; our meetings are more efficient now, to so for example, if the dietitian can’t be at the meeting, I can still go into this one system as opposed to multiple systems and see what’s going on with the nutrition standpoint with that student-athlete. In case they’re not there, rather than having to wait for column. Maybe you know, a lot of schools don’t have a lot of dieticians yet the same way they have athletic trainers, so then not having it be at that meeting helps them provide better care to other athletes.

Dan K 19:04
Thank you, Carrie. Got another question for you in just a moment. But I did see that we got a question coming in from the audience. Send us your questions. We want them, and if you see a question, you like up of that question. So there’s a questions tab where you can send the questions. This question is from Joe Shattuck. Joe, thank you for the question. Joe says, I believe in athletes, biomechanics technique is the variable that they have the most immediate control over. However, what do each What do you each see as the future of the industry implementation of the insights from the biomechanics data that we’re collecting in any area that good data provides? Carries, since I’m on you, do you want to tackle that question first, and we can go around the panel?

Carrie 19:44
Yeah, so actually, just preparing for this, you know, so one tool that’s a real simple biomechanics tool is SFMA, so that’s going to be another platform that is pulled in at Kitman that the strength conditioning coaches can see of where they have some deficiencies. So that’s just one, I think, on a simple scale that can get pulled in. Go to

Dan K 20:13
Jeff and Justin.

Jeff Ferguson 20:14
I’m trying to hit that mute button, Dan, and I’m just typing over in the chat room there. That’s, that’s great. In Joe, great question. So currently, in our given platform, we’re putting a lot of information in, and I agree with you; I think biomechanics is critical. We’re using some motion capture right now; we’re also using kind of the standard that Nord boards the ForcePlates. Vald and we’re able to put that information in, we’re able to, you know, get it by position group, and we’re able to break it down into the individual player. And then what we’re able to do is, is take that information, create that profile on some of the deficiencies, or enhancements, as we call them, that we want to do with our players. And then our strength and conditioning coaches, our performance science team, some of the athletic trainers will actually be with the player so that we’re monitoring those proper mechanics and retesting where we need to retest. So

Dan K 21:31
Thank you, Jeff. Justin, anything to add?

Justin 21:34
Yeah. And on the Youth Space, you know, we’re more in the education space around why movement matters with long-term athlete development. And so, you know, we’re focused on, you know, what can we do at the league level to help push that education down to different clubs, to be able to talk to their athletes about, you know, their movement patterns, how they can adjust. And we’ll look to partner in the future with some of the most technologically advanced organizations to see if we can get some insights into movement between that 13 and 19-year-olds to understand more about their body, especially during growth and maturation, and be able to keep them on the field and enjoying playing soccer.

Dan K 22:18
It’s a great change. And Justin, why don’t we jump to you in the youth space, and Carrie and Jeff all jump back to as well, and Stephen, of course, but Justin, you guys had a big announcement last week it involved Kitman. So we got to talk about it. Tell us what the news was about more collaboration between MLS next and Kitman’s great news. Tell us a little more about it.

Justin 22:38
Yeah, thanks, Dan. We’re just extremely excited. So we partnered with MLS, emerging ventures group, to really go out there and find the best in class for us as an organization to see how we can continue to evolve and Kitman Labs sit above, and beyond that, so we partnered with Kitman Labs on first ever league solution, to be able to maximize our operational efficiencies, and really just start to gain insights around youth development. You know, our ecosystem includes 137 clubs, 600 plus teams, around 13,000 players, you know, the best youth soccer players in North America. And so we’re really excited to, to take this and really start to understand the complex environment, and start to gain these insights and take action for what’s best for these players and develop competition, you know, different things that allowed them, you know, in a unique nonlinear way of player development, to help them understand, you know, where they’re headed.

Dan K 23:43
Yeah, and just on that point, like, why is it so important to think critically about this specific subset? Right? It’s a different subset than the college athletes, certainly a different subset than the professional athlete. Why in your mind, Stephen, feel free to chime in here as well. Why, in your mind, is it so critical to use Kitman Labs data collection technology and apply it to this specific subset of athletes?

Justin 24:08
Yeah, absolutely. I think Stephens got some great insights into this. But for me, it’s how can people have more rich conversations with these youth players. How can the youth players be a part of their development process, and to have that two way conversation, especially as they’re going trying to figure out what they want to do and so our platform is you 13 to 19. So that’s a big change as they go through maturation as they start to understand what they want to do in life. Our league and our clubs and teams need to have those need to have those accurate conversations with them and be able to bring them insights and understanding to talk about their pathway together and not to be so one way, and so that’s why we’re really excited. How can we, as a league, help those conversations?

Dan K 24:58
Stephen, what would you say?

Stephen 24:59
I think they’re the future, right, plain and simple, like these kids Justin is working with and his team working with the future. And if we think about it and see what’s happened in the world of sport over the last, you know, 10 years, but probably even more recently, last two or three years, that like the value of media rights around sport, the value of sponsorship, the value of ticket sales and merchandise, like it’s skyrocketing, the importance of this is huge. And then, like the value of player contracts, so the role that Justin and his team are playing, and then, you know, subsequently that Carrie and her team are playing in preparing these athletes too, you know, to capitalize on their potential and to have an enormous career that transforms a sport, transforms a country, transforms the league, and allows them to do something that could change their life forever, is enormous. And I think the gravity of that responsibility is really, really important. I think if you fast forward 10 years from now, imagine the job that Jeff can do if he’s getting an athlete who walks in as a rookie straight in, like, straight into training camp in a couple of weeks’ time. And when he starts working with an athlete, he has 10 years worth of data. So you know, the Justin’s equivalent in the football world in the high school space has started to collect richer and richer data. And then, you know, Carrie and her team in the collegiate space have done that and collected really rich data. And there’s this passport of information where they understand everything about how that athlete was trained, how you know, how they were treated, what they ate, you know, how it happened, exactly what they did on the field, how they improved themselves, what you know, what their psychology is, like, the capabilities that unlocks for professional staff and professional teams is mind-blowing, and what it does for athletes, as well as I think we’re going to find better talent earlier. I think we’re going to see huge extensions to people’s careers. And we’re already seeing it from, like, world-class athletes today like the Messies, the LeBrons, the Tom Brady’s who, like, have had these elongated careers because they’ve invested in their body, they’ve treated their body like a business. And I think if we can if we can start capitalizing on that early and have the work that people just are doing around the world, I think that is going to transform sport forever. And it’s why we’re so excited to be involved in this relationship and the vision that Justin has, and his team is just, you know, it’s pretty, it’s pretty futuristic. And I think it’s absolutely the direction of sport and says a lot about MLS as a whole that the ambition that’s there to not just in fast at the pinnacle and at the top, but to start really spending at the bottom and really showing that they you know, they mean business and that that business is going somewhere. I think that’s I just think it’s so cool.

Dan K 27:39
Yeah, I look forward to watching everything as it progresses. Congratulations to you guys on the deal. We’ve got some great audience questions coming through; I’m gonna try to get to all of them. I’m gonna go with the one that has an upvote. Here. It’s from Stefan Heylocke. And Stefan says in terms of monitoring the biomechanics of athletes, the issue arises of athletes moving and performing differently in practice controlled setting versus a game setting. How can we tackle these different subsets of data and use it to enhance athletes, especially in the injury preventative way? If there’s a volunteer, jump in. If not, I’ll call on someone. I think Jeff’s raising his hand, he’s, and he’s going, there we go. All right, Jeff.

Jeff Ferguson 28:19
Stefan, that’s a great question. I mean, I can think of one thing that we do automatically, that that is just a small piece. But it’s been very beneficial. So, you know, we’ll do a quick report. And we’ll find out during the week, you know, who might not have necessarily hit their high speeds. You know, and we, we pick those players off one at a time. And we might have them get those high speeds after practice, or I might go up to a player because we have looked with Kitman we have things streamlined. So really so well that our performance science director can actually come to me on the field and say, Hey, we need this defensive back to get a couple of high-speed yards. And I can actually go up to that player during practice or the position coach and say, Hey, I need, you know, whoever it may be to hit 1819, Whether it’s on a kickoff or a kickoff return. And so we’re doing that to ensure that we optimize their availability on Sunday and hopefully increase their performance. But we do take that information in Stefan’s year right because it’s interesting. You think a lot of the players go full bore on Sunday when it’s very limited. And there are breaks in between and, you know, it’s a little different. We do try to meet with Coach and try to simulate some of the game-type speeds during some of his practice periods.

Dan K 30:11
yeah, thanks for the question. Stefan. Thanks for the answer, Jeff. If anyone else wants to chime in, just raise your hand, and I’ll make sure you can. But I can also move on to one of the other questions here. Let’s see; we’ve got another one that has an upvote. From Sonya Raj-Paula. Sonya, thanks for the question. I’d love to learn more about the mental health and cognitive elements of high performance that’s been mentioned; what barriers exist in solving the issues the data presents? And what solutions are you implementing for mental health and cognitive elements? Carrie, do you want to expand a little bit on what you’re doing?

Carrie 30:43
Right, so we, you know, we’ve had a lot of conversations with Kitman. They meet separately with our mental health folks to see what do they want to see. What can others see, you know, because there’s going to be information that can’t be shared more so coming mental health to us, but the athlete can share mental health stuff coming out. So, for example, within wellness, one of the questions is stress, and the athlete can choose to make a comment; they can give a number and add a comment. And if they don’t want to say exactly, they’ll just put private, and then that’s a flag for mental health. So I, I know in our space in the college level, if the athletes sharing the information, upwards, rather than it coming from mental health that flows better. So I think the wellness piece has been the biggest one. We’ve also utilized our surveys, that’s something that we’re looking to build; our mental health staff is doing quarterly surveys, and check-ins with the student-athletes, so they send them nine questions to kind of use as a gauge of where they’re at, and then they’ll flag them. So that is something that we are going to build into Kitman, and then that’ll just be another part of that puzzle that we can all see.

Dan K 31:55
Fascinating. Thank you, Carrie, Jeff, Justin, Steven, anything to add to the mental health components?

Justin 32:00
Yeah, I mean, we’re, we’re absolutely involved in this space and trying to figure out how we, as an MLS Next, can help clubs, you know, at a larger scale level. And so, you know, same thing like Carrie talked about, we’re focused on the talent development environment. So looking at like talent development environment questionnaire, looking at how this process rolls through different IDPs, and how we ensure that clubs are having this education and conversations with the players as part of their, you know, IDP process. And so we’re, you know, we’re trying to find ways around those surveys to gather larger insights to then push back, you know, to clubs and say, Hey, we see some of these as best practices that you should be doing across the board, you know, being very evidence based on our decisions.

Dan K 32:50
Great, thank you all. We’ve got maybe about five more minutes. So I’m gonna try to get to a couple more questions. This has been great. Thanks for the questions from everyone. There’s a question that came in from Shane Malloy, and it’s got an upvote here, so I’ll get to it. Shane says, What are the biggest challenges when integrating data from different sources such as biometrics, psychological data, and performance data to provide managers with information so they can make decisions quickly? Maybe let’s focus on the quickness there? What are the biggest challenges we see? And how would be how quickly is that happening right now? And what are the challenges to making it quicker? Stephen, do you want to jump in?

Stephen 33:30
Yeah, sure. This, I think the one of the biggest challenges today is just ensuring that there’s alignment across an organization, I think we’re talking about highly complex organizations, but multiple different stakeholders, I think, who were used to working in specific ways and are used to working in traditional siloed ways where the coaches, you know, operated, you know, in their corner of the world, and the medics operate in their corner of the world. And I think one of the biggest challenges we have to overcome is, is changing that and helping everybody understand that there’s a bigger picture here. And there’s a role for everybody to play in this, this concept of taking fragmented data and turning it into shared data, and then transforming that into shared shared understanding. And then, you know, applying that through shared decisions. That’s the key and, but that’s, that’s complex because change is complex. Like that’s a change management problem. That’s not a technology problem. That’s not an analytics problem. That is like people and change management, and that, that requires time, and it requires patience, and it requires facilitation and requires, you know, culture and alignment, lots of different pieces. So I think the biggest challenge is probably people right as people and change. These are things that we can solve, but you know, it takes a whole village, right, like any high-performing organization.

Dan K 34:48

Carrie 34:49
I think the one person I would add that you might not have said is the actual athlete because I know for us getting the student-athletes to complete their wellness, for example, that’s been another barrier like they’ve got other surveys they want to do. They won’t. If they don’t have someone jumping on them to do it, then who’s going to force them to do it? So that’s another part that we have found, depending on the team. Again, as you mentioned, some are more bought-in. But that’s just another piece of trying to get that information quickly. And then I’d also add time for the different units, depending on how it’s getting funneled into the system. And that’s something that we’re working on is how can we get that information maybe from our DEXA machine funneled into the system quickly? And who’s doing it? How’s that getting there?

Dan K 35:36
Ole Rick was laid off and has given us two questions. One has four upvotes, the other has three; I’m gonna let the audience choose which one they want. Right now, I’m going with the one that has four. But before I do that, and as everyone continues to upvote, I’m going to plug nest next week’s episode of SPJ live; it’s on the future of the ticket beyond the entry, and it’s presented by SeatGeek. Next week, Wednesday, 12:30pm. Eastern Time, same time, same place. I hope that I see you there. All right, it looks like we’ve got a winner. Ole Rick’s question is this. How do you foresee the use of different data, such as wellness, physical load, etc, combined to automatically warn the physical and medical team about a potential muscle injury before it happens at the individual level? So Injury Prevention at the individual athlete level?

Jeff Ferguson 36:28
So, you know, this is what we do. Ole Rick, this is what we do every day, right? This is like the bread and butter. Are we going to be perfect? No, we’re not. Okay. And there are so many extenuating circumstances for injury and soft tissue, and what happened? You know, so it’s very difficult to group it all together. But I think, you know, at least with our player-centric model, with Kitman, we’re able to get this information quickly. Whether it’s our GPS tracking data, whether it’s our wellness survey, all that is it’s real-time like it’s immediate. And so we’re able to get those warnings. We’re also able to kind of gauge, you know, how many yards the players had, how many high-speed yards, how are they feeling, all those sorts of things. And it might come from the nutrition from our dietician; it might come from another player, or it could come from the player themselves. And we’ve found it to be successful, and we get in, and we determined who the best person is to engage the player and try to prevent that injury from happening, depending on the relationship they have with whichever Department.

Dan K 37:57
Thank you, Jeff. Thank you, everyone, for joining us for this episode of SP J live. I am dropping a note in the chat here. If we don’t get to your question, you can email it to me, and I’ll do my best to see if I can get our panelists to answer it. I want to thank Stephen, Justin, Carrie, Jeff. I want to thank kitman Labs for the support, and I want to thank the audience for being here. We couldn’t do it without all of you. Thank you very much. Hope to see you next week.

Jeff Ferguson 38:21
Thanks. Thanks, everyone.

Carrie 38:23
Thank you


Performance Medicine – Rehab

Kitman Labs Performance Medicine centralizes rehab planning and return-to-perform monitoring in one platform – streamlining the process of creating plans, simplifying communication, and objectively measuring player status and progress.

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Student-Athlete Care

During the webinar, several topics were discussed, including Student athlete care and technology in sports medicine, Athletic program development and support for student athletes, Holistic care in collegiate athletics, data sharing, and preparing for transformation committee recommendations.

SBJ Live: Redefining Talent Development for the Global Football Market

During the webinar, several topics were discussed, including systematically identifying new players, developing talent from the academy to the first team, educating and developing coaches, and supporting the holistic development of athletes in their care.



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