AI Case Study
Seattle Reign FC aim to minimise sports injuries through deployment of Microsoft's Sports Performance Platform
Seattle Reign FC - a soccer team in the US - deployed Microsoft's Sports Performance Platform to support better training and injury avoidance strategies for its players. Multiple data sets helped build individualised dashboards to guide the right approach for each player.
Consumer Goods And Services
Entertainment And Sports
According to Microsoft
"Built on Power BI, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Surface devices, Sports Performance Platform helps athletes and teams close that gap by giving them access to advances in cloud computing, data aggregation, machine learning and predictive analytics. Combined, these solutions can transform how they play based on new data-driven decisions made on the sidelines, in the locker room and in the sports performance lab.
Coaches can create an aggregate view of insights on an athlete’s performance, recovery and readiness, enabling them to run predictive modeling for injury prevention, make clutch-time decisions on a player’s game-day availability and design practice regimens that keep each athlete playing at the optimum level. Microsoft partners Akvelon, Fair Play and POP are helping customers deploy and customize Sports Performance Platform.
The Seattle Reign FC is one of the first teams to use Sports Performance Platform. Laura Harvey, head coach for the Seattle Reign FC, and Nick Leman, director of high performance, use GPS data from Catapult and the Fit For 90 monitoring platform to track data about factors such as a player’s heart rate, speed, acceleration and deceleration. Sports Performance Platform aggregates data from these disparate sources into one centralized view.
Sports Performance Platform leverages Power BI to provide live dashboards that offer a view into player readiness, training and soreness, among other factors. This dashboard is showing each player’s speed and distance on any given day. This data is then used to validate the design and efficacy of each day’s training plan.
Following each match, Leman can review the GPS and Fit for 90 data in one centralized view within the platform. If the players sprinted more than normal, then they might experience more muscle soreness, and if the temperature on game day was especially hot, then they might have experienced more cardiovascular fatigue. Having this data can help Leman give informed recommendations to Harvey on how many days of recovery to give each player, and how hard to train her during her first session back.
Reign coaches and performance staff can also track athlete performance over a season, or multiple seasons, more easily and look for players with the speed, agility and explosiveness that are vital for excelling at the professional level. The team is also planning to extend Sports Performance Platform to its Reign Academy, which provides coaching and training for up-and-coming female soccer players in the Pacific Northwest."
(According to Wikipedia, Seattle Reign FC finished 5th in the League and did not qualify for the play-offs in 2017, but this probably has less to with its support systems than results on the field...)
Minimising injuries to players is a critical element to sustaining a successful season for a team. Optimising training schedules can help deliver a better outcome.