Odds are, if you grew up playing sports, you heard lots of talk about hustle, grind, and “rubbing some dirt on it.” The common thread between these three phrases is that, if an athlete simply works harder, they’ll become better.
While no athlete will ever discount the value of hard work and perseverance in training, high level athletes know that excelling at their craft requires more than gritty buzzwords. “Train smarter, not harder,” might be a phrase that comes to mind, but in reality, driven athletes will learn to both train smarter as well as harder.
As these athletes strive to further protect their training process, technology steps in to play a major role. Finding ways to capture and track actual scientific data about an athlete — this goes beyond simply recording a bench press max or recording a 40-yard dash time — tech has come to play a significant role in the way smart athletes go about training.
The overall goal here is exciting — the perfection of the human body. While “the perfect athlete” may be a myth, are a handful of tech startups keen on helping you work to become the best version of yourself.
1) Peak Performance Project (P3)
If you’re serious at all about following the NBA, there’s a high chance you’ve heard of P3. Dubbing themselves, “the perfect integration of sports science and athletic performance,” P3 doesn’t just take on some of the best basketball talent in the world, they also claim as clients some heavy hitters (literally) from Major League Baseball and the NFL.
Peak performance takes advantage of some of cutting edge technology to deliver to athletes (both professional as well as amateur) incredibly sophisticated and detailed performance data. Additionally, P3’s programs can show athletes if anything they do puts them at risk of injury. In terms of providing data backed training, P3 is the gold standard.
Have you ever been working out, gotten thirsty, drank way too much, and then felt sick and bloated while you tried to finish your workout? On the flip side, have you ever worked yourself to the point of dehydration? Maybe you finished a workout and are now wondering what the best recovery drink is.
Whatever the case may be, Harvard product Nix was designed to help. A wearable hydration tracker, Nix will tell you when to drink, how much to drink, and what to drink using proprietary technology. Finally, we can put to rest the fabled water vs. Gatorade debate.
Moving from high tech data to high quality sound, wireless earbud manufacturer Jaybird is working to create the perfect earbud for athletic training. Boasting high level athletes (three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings heads a host of Olympic athletes rocking the buds) Jaybird has positioned themselves to be the premier earbud for top-level athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Designed to work through the blood, sweat, and tears of training, Jaybird earbuds will also handle as much dirt, mud, and sand as you can. From the highest peaks to the muddiest of Tough Mudders to the comfort of your own couch, Jaybird was designed to be the best wireless earbud on the market for athletes.
Making leaps and bounds within the greater health-tech community, Strados goes beyond tracking your heart rate or looking at respiratory rate — it uses a microphone array and a specialized mechanical coupler to pick up on every cough or wheeze your body experiences, reading your activity rate and respiratory level. The result is a correlation of breathing and heart rate coupled with activities in order to give the wearer actionable results to improve athletic performance.
Strados comes with you while you train and can even be worn with no discomfort while sleeping. Normally, when you think of a system designed to compile the level of data that Strados does, you think of an athlete strapped to a bevy of wires and monitors while running on a treadmill in a laboratory. Strados lets you cut the cords, as it were, taking their technology to nearby streets, trails, gyms, or beaches. Wherever you go, Strados can be there with you.
Advanced stats and analytics aren’t just for radical baseball GMs like Billy Beane and Theo Epstein any more. Now Hudl, an advanced stats service, brings professional grade analysis and statistical reporting to the masses (and the NFL).
By providing video analysis and collecting performance data, Hudl gives coaches and players a customized look at the statistical analysis of their performance, showing them where they can improve as well as potential tweaks that can be made to a game plan in order to maximize strengths.
In the end, no device or program will turn a couch potato into a high level athlete. But if you’re an athlete who already possess the dedication and are just looking for an extra boost to give you an edge over the competition or improve overall health and performance, companies like the ones listed above can be exactly what you’re looking for.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.