In December 2015, the human performance and training platform Fusionetics and CoachMePlus announced a partnership agreement. The two companies combined currently work with over two hundred professional sports teams and elite university teams, providing data-driven solutions focused on decreasing injuries, optimizing performance and enhancing recovery.
CoachMePlus sat down with Dr. Mike Clark, CEO of Fusionetics, which has become well known for its work with superstar NBA players such as Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. Clark discussed the partnership and the philosophy behind Fusionetics.
First of all, let’s talk about the new partnership between CoachMePlus and Fusionetics. What sparked the relationship and why does it work for both sides?
When we’re selling Fusionetics to teams, we’re coming in as a performance health care solutions provider. A lot of teams need more on the data management side. When we did our own independent reviews and talked to our customer base, CoachMePlus was clearly the most advanced. A couple of our customers asked if we could connect together. Notre Dame and the Sacramento Kings reached out and said, “Could we create one integrated platform with CoachMePlus on the data management side and Fusionetics on the solutions side?” We discovered that we share similar visions in what we’re trying to do with our technology platforms and we thought that if we put the two together, we would have the most comprehensive athlete management solution available in the marketplace.
So how will CoachMePlus help you improve Fusionetics’ ability to push athlete performance to its highest level?
It starts with the simplicity of being able to capture data from all the hardware and biometric wearable devices that are out there. Pulling that data in a clean, visual, simplified way and personalize (the data) based on what you are interested in, the ability to take the information and report on it in a clear way to coaches and others. I still personally work with teams, so when I go in, it’s often on of my biggest issues. GMs buy (devices) and then there’s the question: Where do we put all the data? How do you visualize it in a simple, clean way and how can you report on it? At the end of the day, if you are measuring it, you are going to be expected to manage it and get outcomes.
So let’s talk about what Fusionetics does. Your focus is on making athletes better (injury prevention, rehab, performance optimization, recovery enhancement). I heard a story that you told Grant Hill that he would play until he was 40 years old and he didn’t believe you, then it came true. When you meet with an athlete or a team, how do you go about evaluating them and making recommendations?
We recommend that teams measure movement efficiency, segmental joint range of motion, performance, and recovery on a regular basis. For example, on movement efficiency testing, if somebody scores in the green, they can keep doing their self care corrective exercise program prior to working out in practice. If somebody is in yellow, we recommend they get 2-3 sessions per week of integrated manual therapy and very precise targeted corrective exercise. If somebody scores in red, meaning they lack mobility and neuromuscular control – which will increase their training load – those athletes should be getting 3-5 sessions per week of integrated manual therapy and corrective exercise. The goal is to maximize movement efficiency and segmental ROM, which will decrease the biomechanical, cardiovascular, and physiological stress on the athlete. We can clearly measure that from Catapult. We can see that there is a direct correlation between when training loads start going up, your mobility goes down and if you improve your mobility, which may only take 10 minutes on the table, then the training load goes back down to where it’s supposed to be.
Where does flexibility and range of motion fit into the grand scheme of player health and performance? How is it used in conjunction with other things an organization or university wants to track, things like heart rate, hydration and so forth?
We have to take care of the health of the athlete first if you want to have the best performance and get wins. To do that, you have to have a comprehensive Performance Healthcare team that is fully athlete-centered and technology enabled: Sports medicine, strength and conditioning, nutrition, targeted, recovery and analytics. Sports science analytics, using hardware, software and wearables, will give you different biometric parameters including physiological parameters and collecting all that data is important, but it is also important to understand what you are going to do with it. We can’t lose sight of the basic needs. Your athletes need to be able to move, they need to be able to recover, they need to have the right nutrition and hydration and they need to sleep and rest. Out of all the things you can measure, those are the most important things. All the research will point to that.
That is good advice, especially in an industry with so many different types of technology coming out on a daily basis. Now, let’s talk about your long-term goals. Fusionetics has already accomplished a lot, where do you see the company – and industry for that matter – headed?
We see that the current model will evolve into a comprehensive Performance Healthcare Model that delivers an athlete-centered approach focused on injury prevention, performance optimization, and recovery enhancement. Technology will help to enable this evidence-based, systematic, solutions-focused approach moving forward. An integrated performance healthcare model will break down the barriers and silos that currently exist between the different athlete support team (ATC, S&C, Nutrition, Recovery, Analytics, External Ancillary Providers) and provide a more seamless
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