One would think that an athlete would have problems being “microchipped”, but professional athletes are all for it — partially because of the Persuasiveness of their boss, Mark Cuban. Cuban, best known as a Shark Tank investor and Dallas Mavericks’ owner, is also a tech lover. Combine that with his Drive to take his team into the 22nd century using tech, and the innovation of athlete-tracking through microchipping has become a reality.
To Cuban, information is king. Using the innovation in tech (and many of the 24 Characteristics of Genius), the self-made billionaire is employing data to enhance player aptitude, safety and performance.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff that we do that’s a little bit different, but if it helps us get better, I don’t think anyone will object to it,” remarked Mavericks’ guard Devin Harris.
This practice is old hat to athletes who work for Mark Cuban, as this is the second season the Mavs are using the device. Catapult Sports, an Australian-based tech company, conceived the tech which monitors the effects on tissue, muscle, ligaments and tendons as they accelerate and decelerate during training. The ‘accessory’ sends and receives real time GPS and accelerometer signals and fits under jerseys in a pouch by the top of the player’s spine.
The device not only aids in player performance, it helps with the prevention of injuries as it tracks an athlete’s movements. According to Cuban, “Data acquisition is critical to being proactive with every element of player health and performance, and Catapult is a key product for us in that area.”
Other sports teams are catching on to the benefits of ‘bio monitoring’. Just 3 years ago, Catapult had approximately 5 American clients whereas now, they have 70. Catapult’s senior applied sports scientist, Gary McCoy thinks that the technology will gain more American clients with its invaluable “most-used secret” movement technology, “We’re able to see ‘movement deficits’ on an athlete,” he says. “We had an NFL team last year that had a center that had 78 percent of his ability to move to his right — and only 22 percent to his left.
Professional teams aren’t the only ones who have benefitted from Catapult’s ingenuity. The Florida State Seminoles’ coach cited an 88 percent drop in injuries after using the tech for a year, “Catapult allows us to monitor volumes during practice and competition.”
Though Catapult’s device is yet to be approved, the tech has already been installed in many NBA arenas as of last season.