10 most innovative game-changing products for 2017
Technology is changing the face of the sports industry. Helmet sensors and modifications have improved player safety, and advanced scouting software helps coaches identify even the smallest advantages for victory.
Coach & Athletic Director’s third annual Innovations Issue identifies 10 unique products that are taking the sports industry by storm. These trailblazers distinguish themselves from the rest by taking a distinct approach to coaching, athletic administration and athletic training.Here are our 10 choices for 2017’s top innovations.
Seattle-based VICIS uses its expertise in medicine and engineering to develop improve helmets for football and other sports. It recently launched the ZERO1 helmets for NFL and NCAA teams and it’s currently working on lower-priced options for high school and youth programs. Half of NFL teams will use the ZERO1 during the upcoming season.
ZERO1 features a multi-layered design that yields upon impact, slowing collision forces before they reach the head and brain. This approach differs from conventional helmets, which have only slightly been modified since the 1970s. ZERO1 was the top-ranked helmet in 2017 NFL/NFLPA helmet performance testing, beating 32 competing helmets.
VICIS believes that innovations in protective equipment are an important component of a multifaceted approach to better protect athletes in football and other sports. It works closely with coaches, athletic trainers and athletic directors to continue improving protective technology for the benefit of young athletes.
To learn more, visit www.vicis.co.
Keemotion is a fully automated video ecosystem producing film of games and practices for all sports teams. The company currently works with multiple NBA teams, including the Golden State Warriors, and NCAA teams like the Villanova Wildcats. Keemotion can livestream games and use that same feed with its coaching software and produce instant replays for referees.
Keemotion’s patented algorithms allow programs to film, produce and live stream an unlimited amount of games and practices without any camera operators. The cameras are permanently installed in your arena/gym, and the filming starts and stops according to your schedule.
Keemotion’s livestream is an affordable way to engage fans, students, families and alumni with professionally produced content. For coaches and trainers, Keemotion is like a DVR in their gyms. Through the software, coaches have all their games and practices at their fingertips. They can even stop practice and immediately review plays with their teams.
Learn more at www.keemotion.com.
Coach Evaluator is an innovative coach evaluation software for schools and athletic organizations. The system is completely customizable with an evaluation template library hosting an array of evaluation forms to choose or reference. It offers a built-in workflow to track each coach evaluation from start to finish with helpful features, including email notifications, and online signoffs (eliminating the need for physical signatures). There is built in detailed historical reporting, allowing the athletic administrator to analyze coaching performance over time.
Coach Evaluator is focused on athletics and coaching, being built completely around the process of schools and athletic organizations evaluating their coaches. Many products out there can house forms to be completed online, or offer generic survey functionality, but Coach Evaluator’s workflow and reporting brings everything from an in-season observation of a coach, to the end-of-season evaluation and player/parent surveys.
In addition to saving time, Coach Evaluator’s system is user-friendly yet powerful to be able to really gauge and analyze each coach’s performance. Learn more at www.coachevaluator.com.
GoRout was designed to amplify and simplify the essential components of communication between coaches and athletes through visual technology. It takes just two steps to use during practices: Turn on the GoRout Vue devices, and launch the GoRout On-field Practice app.
GoRout is the first and only on-field wearable practice technology on the market. It’s designed to fully eliminate the need for scout cards. Coaches no longer have to deal with the complexities and obstacles of traditional on-field communication. This allows players to run a rep on average every 13 seconds, increasing practice reps by 60 percent and scout-team efficiency by 90 percent.
With GoRout, coaches can focus on instruction players without worrying about time restrictions, slow processes or confusing technology. Players receive the rep and play calls from their coaches directly to their GoRout Vue devices and run them to perfection.
Packages can be customized to meet the needs of budget of individual programs. Learn more at www.gorout.com.
Mobile Virtual Player (MVP) Drive
MVP-Drive is the first remote controlled, self-righting tackling dummy that replicates an in-game experience. It’s specifically engineered to replicate the height and weight of an elite athlete, enabling players to train in a realistic environment. By simulation human motion and reaching speeds of 16 to 18 mph, MVP-Drive enables users to practice passing, tracking, avoiding and tackling with the dangers of player-to-player contact.
MVP-Drive incorporates the appropriately padded mass and resistance of a large tackling dummy and combines it with dynamic mobility, moving at game-like speeds, accelerating/decelerating, and turning like a real player. It can be controlled anywhere on the field and allows coaches to replicate a drill with precision and customization.
This is the perfect tool to help coaches teach, rep and perfect technique without contact. It can also be used by rugby teams and has been tested with lacrosse, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, boxing/martial arts and hockey teams.
The MVP-Drive costs $8,295 and comes with a full three-year warranty. Learn more at www.mobilevirtualplayer.com.
776BC Motion is a performance apparel range which has biometric designs to clearly define how an athlete moves. Motion provides a simple solution to allow coaches and instructors to easily assess technique, form and movement in any session and training environment. Athletes can assess their technique in a mirror environment, through the Motion app or video.
Before Motion, there was no practical solution to assessing movement and biomechanics in every session. Current approaches require a lab environment or invasive sensors on or within equipment. Both solutions are expensive and not practical in the everyday training environment. The Motion range has a patented design that highlights the key anatomical points and lines to assess movement, making it simple and easy to assess technique and form. There are no barriers to using Motion apparel in every session.
Motion apparel provides greater clarity and resolution, enabling coaches to provide more efficient, accurate feedback to athletes. Video sessions are greatly enhanced as athletes can easily see their movements and make necessary changes. With the use of the Motion app coaches can complete more detailed video analysis and reports to send to athletes.
Learn more at www.776bc.com.
Fusion Sport Smartabase
Award winner of the 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Alpha award, Smartabase is the athlete data management solution for more than 60,000 coaches, scientists, athletes and managers. A powerhouse of wizard-driven customization options, the Smartabase builder toolkit is what sets it apart from its competitors. From simple color-coded dashboards to stunning interactive data visualizations, live excel feeds and automated SMS/email alerts, Smartabase’s intuitive tools ensure coaches have what they need to make informed decisions and keep athletes at their best, week in and week out.
At a time when analytics are critical to athletic performance and team management, Smartabase can track what matters most. It also allows coaches or athletic administrators to manage it all with one program, instead of sorting through hundreds of different spreadsheets. Whether it’s game statistics or student-athlete data, Smartabase is capable of tracking it all.
Learn more at www.fusionsport.com.
Matchlete is the premier marketplace for student-athletes to search for the best college program that fits their academic, athletic and career aspirations. Coaches also can use it to identify players that best fit their system. Both can communicate by sharing film and direct messaging on the platform once a potential match has been identified.
Currently, Matchlete is the only database on the market that allows users to search for ideal schools by distance from hometown, academic majors offered, coaching style, campus size, estimated anticipated playing time (based on graduating seniors), pro potential and more. Coaches will be able to search for athletes in a similar manner, which includes height, weight, performance statistics, top athlete interests, location and more.
Matchlete helps coaches recruit players who want to be at their universities. A lot of times, colleges spend time entertaining high school athletes that they have no shot at landing. Matchlete aims to make the process easier and cut out wasted time.
Learn more at www.matchlete.com.
Vital Vio uses a precise spectrum of light, created with its patent-pending LED technology, to initiate a photo-activation of porphyrin molecules found in microorganisms. This leads to the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). In high doses, ROS causes irreparable damage to cellular structure, killing bacteria. The light is completely safe around humans and animals.
Vital Vio is effective against yeast, mold, fungi and various types of bacteria. Experiments have shown a bacteria reduction of up to 90 percent after just one day of use. In an actively used facility, significant reductions can occur in a matter of weeks.
In July, Duke University announced a partnership with Vital Vio, using it in its athletic facilities to keep student-athletes safe from bacteria and risks of infection. Vital Vio’s lighting system has been tested and certified by International Electrotechnical Commission standards.
Learn more at www.vitalvio.com.
Sensors attach to the ends of bats, golf clubs and waistbands to provide coaches and athletes with specific performance metrics. Sensors are sold for baseball, softball, golf and basketball. A sensor is even available for athletic performance, capturing jump height, rotation, hang-time and sprint acceleration.
Blast Motion offers Smart Video Capture technology that automatically edits video based on actions, syncs metrics and creates highlights. Its premium baseball program, for example, can provide coaches and athletes with swing speed, energy transfer, bat angle and a power index. It helps coaches identify the weaknesses and strengths of each athlete.
Blast Motion is the official sensor of MLB and the National Pro Fastpitch League. Learn more at www.blastmotion.com.