This episode of the SLN Podcast is a replay of a panel John Peters had the privilege of moderating as part of Lake Point Sports’ recent sports technology conference. Lake Point is the ultimate youth sports destination with over 1 million visitors annually. Featured on this panel was the CEO for Mustard, Rocky Collis, the CEO from Strive, Nikola Mrvaljevic, and Comcast’s very own Ken Duran, who is the program director for Comcast Sports Tech. 

Podcast Highlights

1:39 – Ken: What is Comcast?:  “It’s good to see you and always great to be in this wonderful facility out here  in Cartersville. It’s wonderful and yes, Comcast, as you likely should know also is part of the BBC, NBC sports, all the different things that were involved in all over the world, including Scott’s sports out in Europe and, and lots of different areas. And a couple of years ago, there was a decision made that  we began to look at new technologies that were emerging.”

4:16 – Nicola: What is Strive?: “We’re a human performance technology that quantifies fatigue through monitoring of muscles and motion. For the last 40 years, people talk about quantifying the motion with the GPS accelerometry, et cetera. We started Strive with an idea to understand what is the cost of that motion? What is the cost of those accelerations or decelerations? And so far we’ve worked with professional athletes ranging from NFL, NBA, MLS and NCAA.”

 5:29 – Nicola: How the data changed their behaviour: “So there are a lot of fascinating models today. We grew up playing sports. Nobody ever taught us how to move, how to train, how to properly accelerate or decelerate. And I wasn’t even aware of all the use models, but recently we found out that one of the NFL quarterbacks, found a correlation between the glute output of the glute muscle and speed of the ball, how he was throwing. So essentially the stronger his legs got, the further and faster he was able to throw the ball.”

7:33 – Rocky: Who is Tom House?: “Tom house, I got to know, cause my younger brother was training with him as a professional quarterback and Tom, you know, many people probably think he is indisputably the most successful personal sports coach of all time. So in multiple sports, he coached hall of Famers in their mechanics going all the way back to Nolan Ryan. Who’s one of our investors and advisors. He’s coached multiple hall of fame, baseball players. He’s got 22 of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s got hall of fame golfers. the list goes on.”

8:09 – Rocky: Platform for youth baseball: “Can we take the coaching I do with the best athletes of all time. And can we put it in a phone and give it to every kid all over the world and not just in a content way, but in a way that they can actually take this coaching and apply it to their own movements and understand how their body’s moving and get better. So if I can say 30 seconds about the kind of the mission for us, um, you know, we’ve talked a lot today about how we all got a ton of personal development from sports. We all got, we all learned teamwork, work ethic. That was all from sports. Growing up 70% of kids are left out of that market currently.”

12:28 – Ken: Being the middleman with the comcast program: Sports touches everything. The people in this room know that pretty well, it’s every facet of life, everything from how you get from point A to point B in the mechanics of it. But it’s also the neuroscience behind it. It’s the way you think, it’s the way you breathe. It’s all of these different pieces. So, what generally happens is every one of the partners will say, hey, we want better athletes. But there’s also lots of other things that they’re looking for as well, which is, uh, you know, anything that could be as simple as how do I get my fleet of golf carts from one place to the other as the PGA,  or if you’re looking for the next grade athlete.”

15:24 – Nicola: how could that data be leveraged to help tell a story better to coaches, recruiters, and eventually, you know, mass consumers?: “I always get a little anxious answering that because of what. Who the data belongs to and how is that? They interpret it. And what is it used for? So as an ex-athlete, you know, I grew up in Yugoslavia, uh, back in eighties and nineties and we practice six days a week, five, six hours a day, and our off season week and a half long. So growing up in that environment, there was no perception of, you know,  load management through analysis.”

18:12 – Nicola: Movement is movement: “The physiology we’ve done so much research in the last 40 years that, as Strive, we’re not reinventing the science, we’re just taking this from the lab and bringing it into the field.”

19:16 – Nicola: do you see this further gamifying and even increasing participation for youth athletes with, with the dashboard that you guys built?: “We see opportunities where there’s an opportunity for athletes, for professional athletes and you athletes to compete against each other. Because if we know how professional athletes are moving, you know, whether it’s an NFL tight end, the running back or quarterback, or we can collect that data. And then from a youth perspective, if you want to train like Stephon Gilmore, you can understand how you compare against Stephon Gilmore.”

20:38 – Rocky: The Mustard app being marketed towards 8 year olds: “Well, I would say we, we have some parents with kids as young as eight that, that use the app, I don’t know that that’s the target market for us, but we do care a lot about the kids younger than 14 and making sure they have personalized instruction.”

26:19 – Nicola: What’s the future of Strive?: “If we can offer them for lack of a better term, the north star. Like, hey, if you want to be better, these are the metrics or this is the data they can help you be better.”

 27:20 – Rocky: What’s the future for Mustard?: “We want anybody to be able to get personalized instruction. Every athlete can have their personal recipe to improve, but I think more importantly, we want everybody to enjoy the process of improvement, right? It’s not always about the end state. It’s about really sinking in and enjoying the process of getting better. I think, you know, one thing for all of us in this room, in this industry to be conscious of. Um, we’re developing a lot of technology. That’s big business, and we’re going to learn a lot more about people at a younger age for scouting, things like that.”