Complete your wellness and performance strategy with sensing technology
February 25, 2021
Moderated by Matt Hauck, MS, CSCS.
Guest Speakers: Travis Vlantes, Sarah Snyder, and Diane Robison.
Methods and tools to monitor athlete wellness and performance have evolved tremendously in recent years with great hype surrounding their uses, but it hasn’t come without growing pains. As it turns out, some of the leading sports technology used by colleges and professional teams alike is barely noticed at all. Join our panelists as they discuss the latest developments in sensing technology, the real challenges posed by these tools in a team-sport setting, and how finding the right sensing technology to fit your workflow can optimize athlete outcomes.
[00:00:00] We're going to go ahead and get started. My name is Michael Bender, CEO of Intake Health. My contact info is over here in the bottom corner if you'd like to get a hold of me. And our goal with this webinar series is really to connect practitioners to discuss daily challenges and how to solve them. And today's discussion topics will focus around the evolution and the use of sensing technology in collegiate and pro sports and intake help with the support of the National Institutes of Health. We've actually developed a passive hydration, sensing technology specifically for the athletic locker room to eliminate manual urine sample collection and to improve hydration compliance among your athletes. If that sounds interesting, I'll speak a little bit more to that later at the end of this presentation. But right now, I'm really excited that we've had the opportunity to bring together such a great panel of thought leaders in the space and seasoned industry expert here to moderate the conversation. So I'm not going to take any any more of your time. I'm going to turn it over to Matt Howe, former MLS and PAC 12 sports scientist and performance coach, to lead the conversation.
[00:01:18] Thank you, Michael. And it's great to be here with everyone. As Michael mentioned, I've spent some time in the both the performance side and one of the applied sports science side as well. And I was just doing the math now that we're 20, 21, that I'm entering year 17 of working in the human performance industry. And I start off probably like many of the practitioners here, being an athlete, working in sport, being curious about it. And I had a really unique opportunity to start my career with internships at the same time that, you know, years ago I was starting the undergraduate path, but at the same time I was playing football in college. It was kind of unique to be able to do all three at once. But going back to that point, technology was kind of part of the process then. It wasn't necessarily leading the process, but the idea of asking crazy questions about. Is there a way we can ask questions to make sure we're doing a good job of strength coaches, like is the program actually working? Are we actually achieving our goals for the athlete? So early on? You know, technology was embedded in my brain about asking those types of questions. And as I've moved forward, I've got to work across the spectrum of the field, whether it's more sports medicine, clinical setting, whether it's in collegiate sports, professional sports or even the sports technology industry as a whole, I really relish the opportunity to connect with practitioners as we are connecting today. One of my favorite things to do, particularly back in the time where I was in a team setting, is literally just to like end of the day, training's done, maybe pre-season is done and we're all in the same city, which I think that one of our panelists thank could maybe recognize as well as it's kind of fun just to talk shop with other people while you're in the thick of it. And that's part of the goal today, as Michael mentioned, is to connect the practitioners. But discussing this overarching that is we're responsible for athlete health and performance and whatever our subdomain might be, that is our knowledge and expertise that's our wheelhouse. We share ideas all the time. And I think what's going to be interesting today is talk about how does technology help that process or are there opportunities where technology is still maybe failing in some areas? I think that we as practitioners need to be able to roll up our sleeves and say, you know what, this is a distraction. This is not helping. Our process is not strengthening our process. And I'm very excited to have, as Michael said, a group of panelists with a boatload of decades of experience across the spectrum to come and contribute today and want to do a short introduction on our panelists. We'll start with Travis Latte's. He is the director of Applied Sports Science at the University of Texas. Travis, welcome. And from there, we have Sarah Snyder, who's the director of sports nutrition with the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. Welcome, Sara. Thank you for being here. And last but not least, we have Dan Robinson from the Sporting Kansas City Soccer Club from MLS. She's a sports performance dietician. Diane, welcome to you. I want to get right into it. Spend as little time with you, having to listen to big talk and have the experts kind of highlight their experience in this domain. Travis, I want to specifically start with you. You know, when we think of tracking athlete health, athlete performance. There's been an evolution over this process in the last 10 years. I'm thinking of two really specific examples where I'm thinking of wellness service, recovery service. All of us know somebody who start off with pen and paper, just about everybody here, if they know someone who was doing it, they know that it will start with pen and paper. And five, eight, 10 years ago, that was kind of the standard the rest of the paper. And maybe somebody looked at it for the string session, maybe somebody looked at it before practice that eventually evolved generally to maybe it was juggling Excel spreadsheets. Maybe it was a magnet on a board, maybe with Google sheets. But now, especially in the last several years, we've evolved to the point where there's a push notification on the athletes phone from the athlete management software system that the team's using. The wellness surveys done and dusted for the athlete even walks in the door. That's a huge evolution over that five to ten year period. That's a positive, right? I'm also thinking of Facebook technology. And Travis, I know that with some of the technologies you've used in your career, maybe you can recognize this as well. I remember eight or nine years ago walking an athlete across campus to go to the biomechanics lab because we had to sit with the two professors there that maybe had the motion capture system all set up with the force plates. It was a really super evolved process and there was a lot of work to do to actually get some insights from the data. And fast forward five, seven, eight years from then, we have faceplates multiple force plates that are set up in a weight room and athletes are promoting themselves through a validated testing protocol and actionable, actionable insights are available immediately. So there's two examples of how stuff had evolved. But Travis, what I'd like to pick your brain on a little bit is, you know, how have you seen athlete monitoring processes or technologies evolve for the better in the past 10 years or so?
[00:07:04] Yeah, I think you're spot on with those examples. I think we all sort of started with the pen and paper and athletes, you know, filling out RPV or going around to them right after practice on a clipboard. I think faceplates are another great example of, gosh, we went from, you know, one countermovement generating Excel work document with thousands and thousands of rows and having the time, the raw time series data in there to. Now, I can tell you everything about that. Jump in a matter of seconds right after you do it. Another one that comes to mind is, you know, how things with accelerometers and GPS technology have allowed us to sort of summarize a training session without having to use time motion analysis and watch the same session over and over again with each player, maybe counting jumps or counting changes of direction, things like that.
[00:08:01] And even as early as eight, 10 years ago, you talked about walking across campus to go to your first play.
[00:08:09] It's done even the same thing with body composition. So the only place that you can get body composition done was research facility that had maybe a DEXA or something like that. So or they were doing a lot of hydrostatic weighing at that point. I mean, that was what I did in grad school was was hydrostatic weighing. So, yeah. I mean, I think we've come a long way.
[00:08:29] And for me the technology has been the main driver of allowing these things to become more widely adopted, which means now there's there's a whole broad spectrum of practitioners who have been exposed to these technologies who were not previously able to able to access them. And so now you just have so many different ways of viewing the same data, different ways of being able to break it down and and come to different conclusions, expanding the research opportunities to not just a population in a lab setting, but now, you know, we can do case studies with actual teams in their pre seasons and really get data that's applicable up and down the spectrum from use forward all the way on up to professional so that the technology has really allowed us to do that. Here in Texas, we look for four kind of four things. We look for information to be unique, accurate, actionable and timely. And honestly, technology, again, has become the big driver of those things. So we could we can check all of those boxes by maybe using something that's not as technologically advanced, but it's it's probably not going to be as timely. It's maybe not going to be as unique because it's more difficult to combine it with other data stream and things like that. How actionable is it if it's not timely, some of those sorts of things. And so I really think one thing that we have to be cognizant of when we talk about technology is now are we just measuring things because technology has made them so easy to measure? So I think it's so important to involve the other members, the other the other practitioners that surround the sports team and really decide like what what are the most important things for our athletes? What. What information do we really need on a daily basis and then, OK, if we have some extra time, what are some things that would be nice to collect and nice to do so? I really do. I think it's always important to keep that in mind of having a program with a base of principles and foundational things that you that you need to collect and then deciding does this technology fit our program, fit our principles or not, and not the other way around, like, oh, let's get a just because we can measure.
[00:10:45] For me, you're nailing it on the head, and I know that's the director you were you were just mentioning about your evaluation process of what the technology is offering you. And I think that many of us and a lot of our viewers right now can acknowledge and recognize that, you know what? At some point, a new technology might be great, but it might not check all those boxes. And I can definitely identify with the experience over the last several years or even earlier in my career, once upon a time back in college football, where maybe the best way to describe it was to my baby saying this technology and having that checklist of knowing this does not meet the litmus test. This is now a distraction from our main goals of having that infrastructure in place, I think goes a long ways, an important consideration to make when it comes to kind of assessing technology and.
[00:11:46] As I mentioned, we've we've evolved quite a bit with wellness surveys, with faceplates, even with GPS, other wearable technology, but, you know, with things like hydration, tracking and surprisingly, conceptually, not whole town has changed the actual instruments and gadgetry.
[00:12:06] Have they have improved and maybe they're a bit more sleeker or space age looking, but there's still the manual process of having to go out and collect. And Dan, I was wondering if I get your expertize on this, considering that, you know. In a typical normal year, we'd be in the middle of pre-season right now in Major League Soccer, if I if I'm doing the math right from when we would have started and thinking of how important it can be, like if you can imagine heading down to a place like Tucson, Arizona, for pre-season where you have five or six teams that are maybe all in the same club or staying at all different points at the city, you have a finite time to get in and use the locker room, get out. And if you want to be using any type of hydration, tracking, that's more objective. There's a lot of logistics go into that.
[00:13:00] And so one of the things I'm curious, Dan, is do you think the logistics of using hydration, tracking technology, since we're talking about technologies for monitoring and assessing health and wellness, do you think the logistics of the testing itself can sometimes impair the process? For example, are they going to discourage athletes from actually being compliant with the process? Does the logistics of hydration tracking for the more accurate and reliable measures now?
[00:13:28] Does that discourage you from trying to do it more often? Because, you know, it can be cumbersome with the logistics involved? What are your thoughts?
[00:13:36] That's a great question. I definitely think the doing here and testing how we've been doing it, especially last year with the pretty congested game schedule, we were trying to cram a number of games into a very short number of weeks, starting with our tournament in Orlando. So, of course, hydration there was very, very vital. So part of that process for me was pretty cumbersome just to get pickup's to all of the guys really the day before, or we kind of had the protocol of doing matchday minus minus two to two days before just to give them enough time to really be able to rehydrate, especially between games. But definitely having two games that week really became cumbersome for the athlete and myself, just getting them the pickup, expecting them to I mean, it's been probably 10, 15 minutes each time, just like labeling each of their cups because they would forget not do it themselves. And at that point, I figure, what is this worth if I'm going to get like five unlabeled pickups that I'm not going to be able to identify or do anything with. So definitely a hard process to do myself from the point of distributing the cups and also expecting them twice a week every week to be peeing into a cup and then just waiting on those results. And, of course, like you do want to make your testing very effective and make it worthwhile for the athlete. Just like Travis said, you want to kind of make it make sure that you're making it worthwhile for them and making sure that they understand the importance of it. And I think something that we struggled with technologically is putting it in an Excel doc. And sometimes I want to be able to get around to it until maybe later that afternoon. So it's already been a number of hours since their training session. And I already feel like we're kind of behind. I wish I could have had that data to them right after practice or right after seeing what they weighed out it. There were just so many moving parts with the way ins and outs, they would lose maybe like five or six pounds in a training session and then not see that they were slightly or severely dehydrated until maybe like four p.m. that day. And then just doing it kind of old fashioned with, like an Excel document and sending it out, either posting it or putting it out on team works. I think over time I think in the beginning guys were very good about checking it and they would ask questions and I would tell them, oh, my gosh, you're in the red. Like, let's make sure we jump on this. This is something that we can easily kind of move forward with. Get past it right now. But over time, honestly, I think they just stopped checking it. They're like we have so many other things that we're expected to do and so many meetings that are mandatory. This is just another thing for us to try to get done. See, I think just from a testing standpoint, an evaluation standpoint, sometimes all of those numbers didn't quite come together and it just seemed like a lot of floating data out there for the athlete.
[00:16:40] You know, I obviously I can identify with the general process and the Democrats are obviously of, hey, there's certain days that we want to get good information, right. I something, you know, when I was thinking of the process or the logistics involved.
[00:16:57] I think that, you know, we as a field have recognized the hydration is of importance, but.
[00:17:06] A kind of a roundabout way, because when you think of it, think of all of the time and effort that collegiate teams and professional teams put in to nutrition bars, hydration stations, the time and effort and finances that go into establishing those things. So clearly, we understand it's important and, you know, very popular brands of, you know, sports sponsors would. Allow you to see that further, right? So we clearly as a field understand it's important, but the process of administering like a proper assessment kind of gets put on the backburner sometimes. You brought up something that. It's a challenge. I know that I faced it in both areas and both of the team environments that I worked in over the years, and that's about the timing aspect.
[00:17:57] What do you actually get to take away from that? And, Sarah, I would be curious from your experience.
[00:18:08] Given the timing of a hydration assessment and. Given the fact that you want to be able to do something, the healthier help the athletes, you know, before training or during training or as a result of training. You know, what are your thoughts and impressions, what are your experiences in terms of how important actionable information is on time? Because as as Diane brought up, sometimes, you know, you're rushing to put stuff in. All of a sudden you've got manual stuff and oh, my gosh, training or practice has started 10 or 15 minutes ago. So they're like, what are your impressions of how important the timing of good information is, especially when it comes to things like hydration?
[00:18:53] Yeah, absolutely, I think the turnaround time that you can give an athlete feedback really reinforces why they're doing it so they can know, OK, I provided my urine sample and I am significantly dehydrated.
[00:19:09] I need to act on that now before practice or after practice or whatever it might be first thing in the morning. So it is it's crucial to get that immediate feedback in. But is it realistic? And when you're working with a a large team or even if you are just trying to hammer out those guys that are individually high need in terms of hydration, you gather the samples and then you probably test them all together. Once you get one sample, you're not necessarily just testing that one sample. You're kind of waiting to collect a group of samples and that can prolong the process as well. But I think in terms of enforcing what we're trying to do in the education and the immediate actionable item, you really want to get them that data as soon as possible. But it is not always realistic and it definitely helps to have a team around you to help out. Some places are equipped to have staff in place to help with this and assist and others are not. So you have to ask what's realistic as well.
[00:20:14] The realistic aspect. All of us can recognize that we're working with human beings and I've had some great conversations recently about the general concept of like testing the teeth where this GPS did this for place and assessment, finished a wellness survey. Before we get in, we might do an HIV assessment. When you show up, by the way, into this cup, by the way, during practice, we're going to do X, Y and Z, whatever the workflow is. All of a sudden these athletes, whether it's their job to do it or not. Or whether they are professionally paid to do it or are have other obligation to participate in the sport for some other reason. They're human beings that are constantly asked and poked and prodded. That can impair the process as well. I can speak from my own experience years ago as a collegiate athlete where I said technology was embedded, what I was doing years ago, particularly like in the HRB setting, and there was a time where the stresses of life paired with the stresses of the sport started to impact me, where I would show up to these HRB assessments each day. And my strength coach at the time can laugh and have we can have a good laugh about it now. But I was testing very poorly. The test itself became the stressor. And so when you say, you know, what's realistic is a professional athlete who's negotiating a contract is just lost a spot trying to come back from an injury, something was set in social media. Does the rigors and demand of adding another thing on their plate, considering that they're at the end of the day because that it's their job, they're human beings? You bring up a great point, I think, Sara, about what is realistic to ask of our athletes when we're constantly poking, testing and prodding. How many other things can we build it? You know, there's this general concept. I definitely did not come up with it. It's definitely not new, invisible monitoring. What information can we get from streams that we're already collecting or things that we can gather in the background without poking and prodding our athletes further?
[00:22:23] And I want to open this up to our three panelists now. Where? Can you maybe offer some insights from your own experience of. Where did you see technology take away? Where did you see technology distracts, take away or maybe become a burden to an athlete? One of the panelists thoughts on that.
[00:22:48] I mean, I think you're spot on when it comes to, you know, you have to make sure that we are really taking a hard look at what are they asking them to do, because we I mean, you just talking about it sounds exhausting. I think that's one of the things that here we really try and look at closely is are we utilizing everything we're asking them for to the best of our ability? So there's there's two ways that I feel like we can we can help mitigate that.
[00:23:17] And one is that that sort of passive monitoring, where can we collect the information that we need without them necessarily like having to know it or being too obstructive to their normal daily process and then to making sure that we are maximizing that information that we are collecting. So how are we pulling these multiple data streams together to make sure that, OK, we're getting the whole picture or as complete a picture as we can with the least amount of inputs necessary. And so we're not being excessive in any other areas. And so, yeah, I mean, I think that's where we can best serve as our athletes, is to constantly be going through that sort of quality control evaluation process of what information are we using, what are we not using?
[00:24:04] Because at the end of the day, I think a lot of practitioners would say, well, you know, I can just go and ask them how they're doing. And I get way more of an interaction than I do say something like a wellness questionnaire. And there's a big worry that that's going to become sort of a lost art. And, you know, I think there's there's two ways to look at that. You can certainly take that approach. We try and take the approach of, OK, if we have this piece of information that then becomes our action item, that becomes our testable hypothesis. So you have told us that your soul or your mood is not great or you have a lot of academic stress. That's my job now as a practitioner to seek you out and say, hey, you know, we kind of saw some of these things. This is what you've been telling us, like how how can we help? What do we need to do to help get you through this rough patch? And so, yeah, I mean, I think you can you can look at it as a technology sort of taking away from it. But at the same time, you can also look at it as technology, sort of creating those interaction opportunities. And then it's really up to you to decide what to do with them.
[00:25:11] Sir Dan, from the professional aspect, I brought up some of the. The added issues, I mean, Travis deals with some unique circumstances to collegiate level at a hugely prominent athletic department with that layer in the professional realm. Can you share your experiences of how maybe some of your daily workflows or some of the basic monitoring approaches that you have taken have maybe needed? To be given some context in that situation, because the athlete that you're trying to work with, the ethic that you were trying to support, maybe has family issues, contract issues, something was said in the media, maybe there, you know, there is an argument at practice or whatever. What is your experience been with trying to work and support athletes in this testing and monitoring process where you go, gosh, I'm this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. What are your thoughts on that?
[00:26:21] I think I think the technology can get overwhelming for athletes and we can be asking a lot of them from different departments even around the building. So it's to streamline what's the focus? What's most important? What are we going to get our most bang for our buck out of at that time in terms of their time and I mean their mental space, you have to talk about, too, is like you said, they're going through things.
[00:26:49] There's a lot of stress and anxiety and you've got to memorize the playbook and you have to execute properly and you have to do your first and foremost the job that you're being paid to do.
[00:27:01] And then there's extra things that.
[00:27:04] We want you to know we want to help support you do so you can perform at peak performance, but yeah, it absolutely can be overwhelming for the athlete, I think so trying to fit it in a systematic way where it is seamless and easy. I think that's definitely what we want to aim for as much as possible.
[00:27:24] If it's right in front of them and it's it's there and it's set up.
[00:27:28] Great, if they have to kind of go somewhere else or do their normal traffic pattern or find something or bring something, and I think that can add more to their plate.
[00:27:39] And I really think their minds are occupied by so much, you know, in season especially.
[00:27:51] I would agree with that and kind of add to it, I definitely I think there is value to having that information available to them right then and there where they don't have to go out of their way. And then also for you to be present as a practitioner to when they see those results to explain that to them. And I think that we've struggled in kind of gathering the data, the data, and then being able to have the time allotted to really explain to them. Last year, just with all of the travel congestion and then being on the road, that added another kind of stressor to their lives. So hydration, testing to them, I think almost became another burden on top of I'm not here with family, I'm traveling. I don't know what tomorrow looks like. Do we even have training? It was just something else. And I even heard complaints about why are we doing this hydration testing so often. So it just brought awareness to, OK, I need to spend more time educating them on the importance of these results and give them kind of an optional item to move forward into if they're having issues or if they're consistent and they have like a one off to understand why that might be. But I think definitely there's so much value to them having the information there on their phones all the time right there in front of them to be somewhere that they don't have to go out of their way and not to be a distraction. Even the the way that we're doing sweat testing has changed where it's now a distraction, where we're trying to test 30 players with the sweatband on the during two training sessions on the field. At the same time, we're actually going through and working with precision hydration to just have them be able to kind of stimulate the sweat glands sitting down and doing it that way, as opposed to detracting from two training sessions. So that's something that we're changing as well. But I really think the education aspect and not just creating these electrolyte beverages for them and expecting them to drink it, which they actually do, but explaining this is what goes into it. This is why we're putting you on this concoction strength or whatever it might be, because it's such a long way in and really prevents from devaluing that and that information that we collect.
[00:30:04] Danielle was like a perfect Segway because what I was really interested in is you're talking about creating fun in different ways for different types of buying. I'd like to open this up to the group of panelists where a basic question is like compliance is an issue, compliance is an issue. Whether you're trying to get them to wear the GPS unit every day or and the heart rate band at the same time. Did they go and do the proper assessments in the weight room? Did they show up for HRB, whatever it might be? I want to open this up to the panelists here. Compliance is an issue regardless of what you're trying to do.
[00:30:42] What are some strategies and this is the question that we get to many webinars that come to this. How do you increase by and how do you increase compliance? But I want to hear from you people who are working in the team, who are on the front lines and who are not just tweeting out on social media of do X, Y and Z. And that's it. You people are on the front lines. You all are doing this and are doing an exceptional job. How do you create or enhance compliance, compliance with your athletes when it comes to different technologies or monitoring processes open for you?
[00:31:18] I have to tell you about this poster I made of this basketball court, and then I took the players and put their heads on, you know, little bodies. And when I got there, urine analysis from their specific gravity, they could move forward. If they were hydrated, they could move a little bit forward if they were like moderate and then they would move nowhere if they were dehydrated. So it was this board and it became a competition. And that was kind of like a wait to see if we could get by in an education. So turning it into a competition always seems to. Fare well, but I know that's that's a little bit hard in many ways where maybe there's information you don't want displayed on a board in looking at the NFL going through covid this year, there was a team that kind of made it a competition in terms of with the tracking devices, we were.
[00:32:18] You know, which position group would have the least amount of time where they were too close and whatever whatever position group had the least amount of time one, and that team did pretty well with their covid cases.
[00:32:38] Yeah, I think a lot of that comes back to the the buying and education, I think Sarah is spot on with with the competition thing. I mean, there at the end of the day, they're all athletes themselves, and you can turn it into something competitive. I think you can be really successful that way for for our population in college, you know, the younger population. And so they always kind of want to know why why are we doing this? What's what's the rule of this? Why is this important? And so starting with Buy-In from the coaching staff and the support staff, because if they're not being engaged by multiple people around the facility every day with that information, then they're going to they're going to start to lose that by and they're going to understand that it's not really important. So my athletic trainer might look at it, but that coach has never talk to me about my wellness score or about my forcedly results or anything. So why why do we continue to do this? So it really does have to be sort of this holistic team approach where everybody understands that these are the things that are important for us to measure and monitor as a program. And everyone in the program is going to sort of take ownership of understanding what those metrics might look like on a day to day basis.
[00:33:53] And how are we going to engage with them to make sure that they continue to understand it's important.
[00:34:02] To kind of go off of that, I love your point about the holistic approach, I think the more that the athletic trainers can understand that our pity that everyone involved in the team can understand the results, the better, because guys do come to different people for different reasons and bring up different points. And so the more awareness there is where they can educate, maybe when I'm not around or when you're just not able to hit all points at the same time, the more availability there is to have that conversation and then the competition is huge, I would say the more you show that you care and that you're present at practice and that you're asking them questions, the safer they feel to trust you with those questions as well and to come back and kind of like stimulate them to start thinking about those things and then feel safe to ask those questions themselves.
[00:35:01] And the relationship part is. It is so central and I think it almost.
[00:35:08] It almost comes to be cliche in our field where people talk about culture. People talk about relationships, and I see people talk about these things. And I purposely don't engage in conversation sometimes because I want to listen, to hear what the impression is. But a lot of times what's lacking underneath is the substance of. I have a great process or methodology to use with you. Whereas some people harp on the relationship on the culture side, when the actual process of mythology is lacking, if we just have good relationships, it doesn't matter that we have nothing in place. And I think from what I've been hearing from this panel is there's a great effort made to establish that connection, that relationship and Buy-In while simultaneously having great relationships and a method in place. I want to transition our talk now to taking some questions from everyone present here. I think that all the attendees should be able to type in a question if they have a question. One has already come through and I'll open it up to the panel.
[00:36:21] What else informs your decision making process when adopting new technology?
[00:36:33] So far, for us, we sort of evaluate how is it going to be included into our decision trees and sort of that line of thinking. So, for example, if it's if it's something where we're trying to maybe assess risk on the plane, feel, OK, having having USG's going to be something that we want to take a look at. Regular body weights will be something that we take a look at. The sweat sweat that's testing would be something we take a look at. Their body composition would be something we would take a look at. And from there, you can really come up with a much better decision tree. OK, well, it's not just that they were dehydrated because their USG told us that going into their training, but how does that play along with what their body weights been doing the last few days? Are they incredibly lean going into it? And now they're adding even higher risk because their sweat that's testing indicate that they're a high volume sweater. And now, OK, we're assessing there's even more risk to the situation. So understanding how a new technology is going to impact your current decision tree or decision making, I think for us is number one.
[00:37:41] If it doesn't fit in or help us to get to a better decision or action item, then it's then it's, again, something that we're probably not going to invest in.
[00:37:54] And I want to. Piggyback on Travis where? And thinking of evaluating new technologies, you know, I'm sure all of you can relate to the experience of, wow, there's I'm getting all this new product information. There's a steady stream, it feels like. But when something actually does get implemented. Trying to connect it to your core decision tree, as Travis is saying, your your core process, your workflow methodology, I can think of a specific. Example, I'm going to say where and when and what we were using that in terms of like monitoring our return to play, for example, there's other there are other processes that were built into that that we had felt certain about. We had, you know, stratified our approach to know that there are different levels and there's a reason and rationale for going from one stage to the next to the next. And our our team doctors are athletic trainers, teams, physio and performance coaches were all on the same page of this is why we're going from A to B, just like these are the basic check marks. And when a new piece of technology comes in and we have to sit and think. Interesting, sounds interesting. This is new, it's different. Where does it fit into what we do and how much time are we willing to spend investing to see if it is going to fit and supplement and enhance what we're actually doing? And if weeks and months go by and those boxes are checked and we're not getting any more time back in our pocket and our basic daily tasks are now distracted from because we're really trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. To borrow that cliche, then at what point it's like. It's interesting, it doesn't mean that it's helpful, it doesn't mean that it's insightful, so I can kind of identify with that experience as well. And Sarabande, with with your experience, do you have your own personal litmus test of saying either this piece of technology or this method or testing whatever it might be? What is your own personal litmus test for saying this is no longer a worthwhile investment? Can you share anything? You don't have to name names or anything like that, but can you share examples of where you said, you know, this doesn't this doesn't pass the muster?
[00:40:29] I could say I heavily would rely on the brains of our performance team to collectively decide on anything that we're going to bring in that's really important to me, that if there's something that I see that they are on board with and they know about it because, again, the in and the education that would come later on with that, that process can start right when we're learning about the device or the product or whatever it might be.
[00:40:59] So I definitely feel like it's a good it's a team approach where we're all all brains are looking at it and kind of picking it apart to see if it's something that we keep or if it's something that we can bring into the building.
[00:41:15] If it doesn't kind of correspond or correlate to other pieces or other devices, if it's just kind of hanging out on its own, maybe that might be problematic in terms of having it be integrated into the entire system. So I really like what he said about that.
[00:41:35] Yeah, I would say from the number of tests that we do, I always have to remember, like these guys ultimately just want to play their sport. And so you do want to make it definitely something that's worthwhile for them. And I think the testing that we've done has been very valuable. Like I like I said to do. 30 SWAT tests on a team at the same time is a lot, and I don't necessarily think that we benefited from it in the way that we could have. So that's something we've kind of like transitioned from taking a step back, from learning, from just knowing that if there's maybe five guys who are susceptible to cramping, that's maybe when we just do spot testing on them. But even from a point of like, it's not so much doing the testing, but from supplements, there's there's so many companies out there who wanted in with the team who want to try certain things with the team and just kind of coming to an understanding that that can be very overwhelming for a player to where they get kind of used to a certain way of using supplements and what they're supposed to be kind of consistent with taking. So when you keep introducing new even just if it's like a way or plant based protein powder, it kind of confuses them to have so many things available.
[00:42:59] I want to end with throwing everyone a curveball, there is a great question that came in and you have to expand too deeply on it, or maybe that's a good segue way to future conversations we'll have after we all connect. But of course, you came in that says.
[00:43:16] If any of you could wave a magic wand, what kind of technology would you want or what kind of data or info would you want or something that doesn't exist right now that you wish did exist? And how would you use that information? You don't have to expand too deep, but if we are going to, you maybe paint a big, broad picture performance. What do you want in that picture that maybe isn't there yet? Maybe I'll open up to everybody and just take a minute or two as we wind down here of maybe a wish list for tech or data or information.
[00:43:55] I'm going to go with something that tells us about their their mental state, what what's what's stressing that will kind of drive. Do you have like where you at today? Just the the hardest part about all of this is we're trying to use all these data points to put together. You know, you are as human. And I think that having having something that can help us take a little bit better, look at like mentally, how are you responding to these things? Can we can measure almost anything physically and physiologically? How are you responding? But how is that like how are you feeling about those changes, about what's going on around you, those sorts of things like that, that really when you talk about peak performance and getting an athlete ready and so important to understand that piece. And a lot of times what we end up with is, you know, they might go and meet with the sports psychologist or the counselor, and then you have a lot of really good sort of mental health notes that go along with that. But how do we distill that down and really figure out, like, OK, what bonds are good to push today? What buttons do we want to stay away from today? And really doing that on knowing that on a deeper level, day in and day out.
[00:45:12] I think I would go with somebody with body comp, maybe having maybe a more efficient, easy, accessible machine, that could be a minute, but maybe give us the kind of data that adex that could give. And even with that, though, I mean, on the the mental mantelpiece, continually working on an athlete's perspective of what bodycount means and how to perceive that data, that's a big part of it. So but in terms of the tech side, it would be neat to have something that's.
[00:45:50] Similar to DEXA and just skins quickly, and maybe you have five units around the building.
[00:46:01] For me, I would say something to do with tracking their food intake. I think it's really hard to either get an athlete to comply with maybe tracking it in something like my fitness pal or I've even had based on knowing their personality. Let them have them some pictures of what they're eating to me. But it's hard to be consistent in that. And it's hard to really, like trust sometimes exactly what the athletes are telling you, especially if they're maybe a younger athlete who thinks that they're eating a certain quantity and it's maybe much higher than what they're thinking. But I think it's hard to really see outside of these walls how they're eating. We do have like breakfast and lunch provided. So I can kind of tell there. But then, of course, there's dinner, which is huge snacks on top of that. So to kind of get a measure of, OK, how is your diet really tied in with what your blood panel showing what your body is showing and based on what you're telling me, which may or may not be true. So just to have an easy way to kind of track, that would be amazing.
[00:47:07] I like getting inside of everyone's thinking process about this is a direction that I would like to see growth in and for myself. It's, you know, taking physical attributes of the athlete and better understanding how it impacts specific technical skills or tactical abilities within each sport. That was something that was fascinating to me, you know, working in the American football realm and understanding positions and then working in professional soccer understanding positions. It's like, OK, we we train traits. But how are each of those physical traits embodied by the position or by tactic formation ET? So I love when we get to just kind of sprinkle in future possibilities at the end. And with that, I want to say a big thank you to all of our panelists for carving out time in their busy in-season off season schedules right now. And with that, I want to hand the digital baton back to Michael, if you will, and who will take us on in the show.
[00:48:11] Give us a little bit of an overview of InTech Hydration Tracking.
[00:48:17] Yeah, thank you, thank you and thank you, everybody, that was such a great conversation. I really appreciate that. I'm going to be brief here and just touch on. Travis mentioned needing unique, accurate, actionable and timely data. And what we've created here is something specific to hydration in an effort to and to add the hydration data into that holistic picture that we discussed on the call today, such as Sara mentioned, we want to quickly get this data, but is that realistic? And we're hoping that with our tools, you can now quickly and realistically collect large amounts of hydration data and feed that into your into your athlete management system and be able to really holistically manage that player. Because, as Diane mentioned, ultimately these athletes just want to play their sports. And we've heard and we believe that incorporating this hydration data, as Travis said, with weight data, with sweat testing data, this helps keep the players healthy on the field and playing the game and what they love. And so if you have a hydration testing program or you'd like to to discuss how this might be able to be incorporated into your existing workflows, we'd love to have that conversation with you. So please feel free to reach out. And again, thank you, everybody, for participating. Big thanks to the panelists.