And this is how the Sixers maximize the performance of their players with data
July 12th, 2018
During a sports science summit 2 weeks ago, the Sixers gave a glimpse on how they use data to maximize the performance of their players. Dr. David Martin, the Sixers’ performance and research director — the head sports scientist — coordinated the summit. His presentation addressed the reason everyone was in the room: drafting, transitioning and developing athletes so they can compete, and so they can return to competition if they are injured.
He presented the audience some examples of the Sixers’ favorite gadgetry, like
- Shear Wave Ultrasound Elastography. It sounds a lot more complex than it is. A device such as this tests tendons for elasticity — crucial for a sport in which tendinitis is a fact of life.
- GymAware. This camera tells you exactly how efficiently Joel Embiid is lifting weights and how powerful he is getting. “You will have movement patterns,” Martin explained. “You can gain some insight into the athlete’s status in the gym that may transfer onto the court.”
- And the Virtual Reality System of Beyond Sports the Sixers are thinking about incorporating into their everyday development or rehab protocols. “Virtual reality can have a real place for how the injured athlete keeps his mind alive, or how the person who’s not playing in the NBA can experience the NBA,” Martin said. “What if you could suck all this data into a platform where you could create a virtual reality? Well, that’s not new to the guys we’re working with. They’ve been playing NBA 2K17 since they were 6. You hang out with Joel Embiid, watch him play 2K17 — I find it so ironic; he plays himself. I ask, ‘Why don’t you play someone else?’ and he says, ‘Because I’m the best.’ Beyond Sports is trying to allow the movement patterns to help us with spatial awareness. To help us with high-pressure situations and decision-making.”
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Credits photo: Charles Fox staff file photo: The Philadelphia 76ers use a wide range of technology platforms to track their players’ performances in games and practices.