When your athletes come to train at your sports facility, they are looking to improve.
Some athletes want to get faster. Others would like to get stronger. And, others would like to refine a sport-specific skill.
Regardless of their goal, your training helps them achieve it.
But, how do both you and your athletes know that they are making progress towards those goals?
That’s where data comes into play.
Without data, you can’t objectively measure their improvement or uncover areas to improve.
Data-driven athlete training is quickly becoming a critical component for athletes looking to get to the next level. And, thanks to technological advancements, it is only getting easier to collect information about an athlete’s performance.
Not currently utilizing data to inform your training programs and prove athlete development? Here’s why you should be.
The benefits of data-driven athlete training
By taking a data-driven approach to athlete development, you’re able to lead more effective training sessions for your athletes. For example, by tracking what weight they are lifting in practice each week, you can map out a plan for progression, and see how they have gotten stronger from Week 1 to Week 12
But, data-driven athlete training isn’t just meant to track their metrics. What you do with this data is where the real benefits come into play. These metrics can guide their development, improve their performance, reduce risk of injury and more. Here are 4 benefits of a data-driven approach to athlete training:
1. Improved athletic performance
By tracking your athletes’ output metrics in training – like speed, weight, reps, or more – athletes can gain a better understanding of their strengths and where they have opportunity to improve. For example, a sprinter can look at metrics such as their reaction time, acceleration, or stride length to identify ways to improve their 100m dash time. Without tracking that data, it would be much harder to identify weaknesses and make specialized adjustments that improve performance.
2. Reduced risk of injury
Tracking athlete data can also help to identify weaknesses, compensations, or imbalances that can result in injury. For example, tracking an athletes’ single leg squat can help identify a muscle imbalance on one side vs another. Likewise, if you are coaching a basketball player that consistently lands with poor mechanics after a jump shot, you can work on building strength and muscle memory to reduce risk of injury.
3. Personalized training (even in groups)
Especially as your athlete database grows, it can become challenging to develop programming to meet each athlete’s goals. Data makes it easier for you to tailor your approach for your individual athletes. This is because you’re able to view metrics that help identify the areas that need more focus or attention, as well as aid in setting realistic and achievable goals based on those areas. For example, if you work with two soccer athletes, you may find that Athlete 1 struggles with fatigue during the second half of games, and Athlete 2 is lacking in ball handling skills. So, you may emphasize aerobic fitness training with Athlete 1 and more skill-specific drills with Athlete 2. While they may both be in a similar age group or skill level.
4. Competitive advantage
In today’s world, sports are becoming more competitive. So, athletes are looking for a way to gain the upper hand. Whether they are looking to stand out amongst other college recruits, or they are looking to make their first sports team, a data-driven approach to training can give athletes an edge. By using data to optimize performance, they are able to fine tune specific skills, prioritize areas of improvement, and ultimately track their improvement as a result of their training sessions. This will help them succeed at the highest levels of their sport.
Putting it all together
At the end of the day, data results in better decision making. From determining where to prioritize your energy in training to determining what to focus on in an individual session, data is critical to driving your training sessions and ultimately delivering results.
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