Software refines science of bringing athletes to the winner’s circle
With championships on the line, sports teams have always reached for every advantage – highly skilled and well-trained athletes, fervent fans and those intangible attributes we often call “heart” or “grit” or “chemistry.”
Today’s teams, however, have access to information and technologies that can create a “science of winning.” Refining that science fuels the innovations of Halifax-based Kinduct Technologies Inc., whose performance measurement and enhancement software is used by more than 50 professional sporting organizations in the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL. Clients include three world champions and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kinduct responded to a challenge identified by pro teams and fitness organizations: the proliferation of performance-related information was difficult to decipher, much less use.
“The world of sports has witnessed an explosion of tracking devices, including heart-rate monitors, GPS and sophisticated camera systems used during games,” says Dr. Travis McDonough, the company’s founder and CEO. “All these technologies created data, but it resided inside a piece of hardware or on a printed spreadsheet.”
The Kinduct Performance Athlete Asset Management System pulls data from multiple sources into one platform, and links athletes’ performance metrics with factors such as nutrition, exercise and injury prevention. “For the first time, professional sporting organizations can access this correlated information through their mobile devices, and see graphical depictions of the data, understand it and receive recommendations to improve performance,” says Dr. McDonough.
These connections produce unprecedented insights and results, he explains. “We have found that poor sleep scores relate to statistically significant reductions in free-throw percentage in the NBA. And grip strength relates to the number of shots on goal in hockey.”
The system allows coaches and athletes to make informed adjustments to nutrition and fitness regimes off the court, rink or playing field, while assisting decision-making in the heat of competition. Dr. McDonough says it was heavily used in the recent NBA playoffs. A team would look at the data collected, including by the on-court camera system, to determine if a player was “hitting the wall” or at risk of injury, then choose whether to rest him.
“The average NBA team has a payroll hemorrhage of $10-million a year from athletes sitting on the bench with preventable injuries,” he adds. “We’re in the business of predicting and preventing that, while helping athletes reach peak performance.”
Kinduct’s technology has also gathered momentum in the health and wellness industry. Several research projects are underway in such areas as orthopedics, sports medicine, chronic disease management and children’s physical literacy.