GAINcast Episode 202: Technology in sport

Technology has changed the world and sport over the last few decades. It has helped sport make substantial progress in some areas, but also failed to live up to the hype in others. On this week’s episode we talk about how technology can best support coaching, and share examples of how to evaluate technology, best practices in using it, and more.

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Notes and quotes

This episode begins with some thoughts on learning before diving into some highlights from last week’s event in the GAIN Master Class Series on periodization and planning with Vern, myself, Nick Lumley and Dan Noble. After the panel discussion we take a look ahead at the next event with Keith Baar by revisiting our interview with him on GAINcast 177.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:00 – Some initial thoughts on technology: “Often we are giving coaches cut flowers when we should be teaching them how to grow plants.”
  • 6:00 – Has technology over promised and under delivered?
  • 7:45 – Advances in measuring in game actions: “Good technology facilitates conversation between coach and athlete, rather than interfering with it.”
  • 9:45 – The cost of technology: “There’s a fear of missing out, but you have to ask what is the cost to buy the technology, learn it, and use it. And what benefits it will bring. Then simply measure the return on investment.”
  • 14:30 – Putting technology in the athletes hands without creating dependencies.
  • 16:45 – Using technology without understanding it.
  • 20:30 – Interpreting the data: “Data is meaningless unless you can put a dimension to the number. No matter how much technology you have, you still need the human element.”
  • 22:15 – Ask the questions first: “Most people start with the technology and then figure out what to do with it. But you have to know what you questions you want answered before you go and start buying technology.”
  • 26:30 – Driven by technology vs. informed by technology: “Technology should inform decisions not drive them. If you’re going to if you’re going to invest heavily in technology and science, you as a coach better in invest heavily in learning the science and technology.”
  • 28:00 – Final thoughts. / Marginal gains.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

  • The GAIN Master Class Series continues this week with our next speaker: Keith Baar, our guest on GAINcast 177. The monthly interactive series features speakers from all aspects of performance. Sign up now to subscribe to hear these events and others in the series. GAIN Alumni can also get access to all events by renewing their membership.
  • The GAINcast is also sponsored by HMMR Media. Join HMMR Media to get access to a vast library of online training resources, video, articles, podcasts, and more. This month’s theme is sports technology, so check back for more on the topic.
  • A few related episodes mentioned this week: Steve Ingham on GAINcast 200, Lachlan Penfold on GAINcast 184, as well as PJ Vazel on HMMR Media Podcast Episode 234. The HMMR Podcast also covered the topic at the start of last week’s Episode 235 as well as a more detailed look on Episode 33.