Can Performance Tech Safeguard your Payroll?

Munich, 20 March 2019

Within the last decade, professional sports have become physically significantly more demanding: The speed of the game has increased tremendously while the density of the schedule for teams and players intensified. Especially, for European football teams playing internationally and players representing their national teams or the travelling-intense NBA. With the increasing physical demands of many professional sports, injury prevention for athletes becomes even more vital. First and foremost, for the sake of a long and healthy career of all players.

However, there is also a financial implication for the teams. For example, take Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid who had an unfortunate series of injuries in previous seasons. His annual salary amounts to approx. $25m. With 82 regular season games alone, that means every game is worth $310,000. If he misses only ten games due to injury, that would account for a loss of $3,1m. Hence, preventing avoidable injuries of professional athletes should be a top priority for every team. To this end, sports performance technology can play a big role in supporting teams.

Non-contact injuries in basketball or football are very significant: 20% of all injuries in basketball and 27% of all injuries in football are not caused by direct or indirect contact. In fact, the most common injury situation in football is structural overloading while sprinting in a race with another player or running for the ball (source: VBG Sports Report 2017). While performance analysis cannot guarantee to eliminate all injuries of this type, we can certainly say that performance analytics helps coaches gaining transparent information on objective and measurable training control and long-term load control. Analytics add both a qualitative and a quantifiable layer to the process. Performance analysis on a longitudinal comparison of player profiles helps to understand load management, stress and strain reaction. Measuring individualized load metrics over a long period of time gives insights into slight and significant changes. Thus, the information provides valuable feedback on whether to adjust training intensity. Transparent data on performance makes it a lot easier to see if a player is in his sweet spot or in the risk of under- or over-training. Over time, teams can establish a solid foundation of performance data und utilize the information to identify und reduce risk factors in games and training. Through this, the process of planning training sessions and games gets significantly more evidence-based and less based on subjective gut feeling.

In professional sports there is no room for inaccuracy. Especially not when it comes to the most valuable asset of any sports: the players. This is why it is so important to use a precise and reliable tracking and analytics solution, such as KINEXON. Another valuable benefit of our solution is providing the analytics in real-time in order to enable coaches to react instantaneously. By noticing a player being in the “red zone” for too long, coaches can take them off the field immediately – instead of realizing overload phases only after the match or training. Hence, coaching staff can reduce situations potentially creating a high-risk for injuries.

In the long run – considering the increasing physical demands of sports – teams using an effective performance analytics tool will have a competitive advantage and save money. They will not only be better equipped to prevent fatigue-triggered injuries of their valuable top players, they will also quickly amortize the investment for such a technology by keeping their players healthy and on the field instead of in rehabilitation.

Dr. Maximilian Schmidt, Co-founder and Managing Director KINEXON Sprts & Media

Article first published in LEADERS Performance Journal 18

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