Effectiveness Of Technology Use
Technology provides interesting dynamics in today’s society. Especially in “Athletic Development”. However, does the technology provide the benefit that makes a difference in producing the anticipated value? Everyone is racing to use technology to get the edge on competition and to accelerate their game to the next level.
I believe in technology and have seen the value that can be created from utilizing technology for athletic development however, I do not believe the athletes are receiving the benefits from technology that is being marketed. All marketing is focused on the “elite” athletes as that is who the public wants to follow the top 1% of all athletes.
Elite athletes have resources the non-elite does not. The colleges and professional organizations have profession staff members who administrate and educate the athletes as to the use and benefits of what can be learned from the many new GPS devices, Wearable devices and other specialized products that are delivering fascinating numbers and details that very few understand and are able to influence
There are tons of marketing pieces providing details as to the value of what a device or technology can do…where is the support to prove that it is working. Most importantly, where is the proof that one can go to Academy Sports , Dicks or purchase a device from Amazon , utilize the technology and gain benefit without any experience, knowledge or training?
There is no question the devices and technology can assist in development and the inventors, investors, scientists, etc. understand the value that can provided. The issue is how effective is today’s application of use of the devices and software on the market? Because of marketing dollars and everyone looking for the “quick fix”, buzz words such as “Launch Angle” is now a popular phrase discussed in stands all over the country.
Who is accountable for marketing a product to a little league dad who has no background or experience in instructing to suddenly be able to utilize technology to analyze and instruct a hitters approach at the plate? This is where the rubber meets the road and where a huge failure to disclose and train exists. In my opinion and through my personal experience, it is inconceivable for this process to be effective and the flawed business plan will soon be the talk of the town.
History of Success
I have invested a considerable amount of time and resources to understand the application of software and technology in athlete development. I have seen many products/solutions fail due to the fact of “practical application”. The actual day to day use in training and development does not take place in a lab in a controlled environment.
Every product maker is a hammer and everything is a nail! Their product is the end all be all and is the solution for the current problem. Unfortunately, this approach leads to inaccurate data and results when applied in a practical sense. SmartKage was a well funded start up managed by Ivy League professionals who recently went bankrupt. They had a tremendous jump on the market and had a wonderful product. Their application failed miserably and in my opinion accurately predicts the fate of many other technology companies who do not understand the application in the field.
If you have about 60 hours a week for 10 years to invest into learning the technology and how to use it in athletic development, you can really gain value from what is on the market. If you do not invest the appropriate amount of time in testing, re-testing, training, programming and application then there is limited or no value from purchasing technology assuming you will receive the anticipated value.
There is a solution to solving this technology crisis. Proper delivery and full disclosure will allow users to understand the level of commitment necessary to achieve benefits and they must yield to professionals who are experienced at testing, development and who are committed to learning the practical use of the software or technology.
Companies will have to invest more time and resources in the actual training, development and accountability of professionals across the United States who can accurately and professionally oversee the proper use of the software and technology available. I do not see the “urgency” that should be realized by these companies as they are well funded and sitting on a “war chest” that gives them a “false” sense of supremacy
The marketing budgets and investments made in advertisement focusing on helping MLB Teams win World Series will feed the egos of the company but will bankrupt them as well. The pride of the value of the product and the supremacy of knowledge over the average Joe is a recipe for disaster. How are companies that are ranked 40th on Amazon sales continue to spend marketing dollars when they are getting beat by other products that are having more success and who are barely getting by?
The value is there however, the business plans are flawed and egos are getting in the way to a real understanding of what is going on in world. Serving the elite who have the resources to purchase and invest in technology will be the demise of companies hoping to make a profit. Everyone sitting around telling one another how great their product is not concerned about profitability is due to a “false sense of supremacy”.
The companies who have invested in use and application of technology and who can prove the ability to analyze, utilize and impact athletes will be worth their weight in gold. The actual expertise of being able to impact the journey of an athlete to reach their full potential and to prove the growth and development will enable a professional to provide valuable services that provide meaningful results.
Companies such as Zepp will be losing value as lack of profitability will create accountability for the companies. The companies are not going to be able to dig their way out of the hole with their current staffing and purpose. The only hope is to recognize the failed business plan (assume a technology product can be marketed at Dick’s, Amazon, etc. and the consumer will be able to watch videos and become and expert user getting superior results).
There is no one on planet earth who believes more in the technology than myself. However, there is also no one more committed to creating the accountability to the actual use and benefit of the technology in improving an athletes skill. Frustrated technology users will rebel knowing their investment is not paying off in competition and will seek professional advice/experience to gain mastery of application.
Kelly Ahrens is the founder of Stars and Stripes Sports and Test and Train Sports who has pioneered sports testing protocols that provide predictable outcomes using a data driven approach. Contact: KellyAhrens@StarsandStripesSports.com