Using A.I. to implement training programs at scale
Sarah Ray is the head of business development at Volt Athletics. She has over a decade of experience coaching and managing programs within performance athletics, corporate wellness, and population health — from NFL Combine training camps to postpartum programs.
Her expertise in strength training paired with behavior change knowledge has helped clients of all types accomplish their goals. In her position at Volt, Sarah is responsible for supporting program design and implementation in new and existing markets. Her certifications include TSAC-F, USAW, CCFT, XPS, FMS, and CMES while her education credentials are a BSc: Health Education & Health Promotion; Human Nutrition.Ray recently presented during Coach & Athletic Director’s TechTime on-demand video series entitled, “Augmenting the Coach: Volt Athletics’ Innovative Approach to Team Performance for Groups of Any Size,” to discuss powerful A.I. technology and organizational tools that coaches can use to create individualized training programs at scale.
Below is a Q&A with Ray from her TechTime presentation.
Coach & A.D: Can I bring my own program into Volt’s software or do I have to use a pre-built program?
Sarah Ray: That’s a great question. So for a lot of high-performing groups or groups that have been around for a while, they have established programs that work for them and the clients they serve. In addition to the build-from-scratch section we showed under the Programs tab, it’s absolutely possible to upload your own program. We accept all sorts of formats — Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Word documents. We can build it from the backend and create a template for you to have as a coach. In just a few clicks, that program you worked so hard to build is now available to the athletes you service.
CAD: What do you say to the more old-school, regimented coach who does not allow phones or devices in the weight room?
Ray: Not a problem. We got you covered. All of our programs at the day level can be printed. And they can be printed for individual athletes or the entire group. When you print a day of training for an individual athlete, they are going to see their specific workload and prescription formatted on a single sheet of paper. For a group, they are going to see the estimated 1RM percent, so they may have to do a little math and maybe that means having a calculator handy.
CAD: Does Volt integrate with any other technology or training programs?
Ray: The space is growing so quickly. One of the things I personally love about Volt is that we have an open API. That’s a technical way of saying we can plug into anything. We can pair with your VBT or your Bluetooth scales. We can plug into your athlete management systems. Even our clients in the facilities space, if you have a facility check-in tool that shows one’s eligibility to be in the building, we can even pair with that.
CAD: Is Volt just for athletic teams and sports?
Ray: If you’re a coach or trainer of some type working with athletes or clients, if they are training for any sort of purpose, it can be used. We service populations from high school club teams of 10 athletes up to military organizations of 12,000-plus. We have partners in the corporate wellness space. We even work with physical therapists and other multidisciplinary teams that are looking to bring the collaborative efforts of a strength coach without having to directly hire a strength coach. These PTs are given the tools to build their own physical therapy programs that can also be assigned to athletes in collaboration with what the strength coaches designed.
CAD: Why should I use Volt when I am a certified strength coach?
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Ray: I am a certified strength coach and I’ve been in this space for more than a decade. I found this app when I was a coach in the real world. I was looking for a tool to help manage my programs — I oversaw several teams that were regionally distributed. I couldn’t do quality checks to see what was going on with my coaches on the field. I couldn’t see the usage rates. I couldn’t answer questions when someone called me about training prescriptions. Some of my coaches were still jotting things down on paper and not keeping great records of what they were working on despite doing great delivery of service in person. So when I found the Volt app, I knew I stumbled upon something that was going to help solve a lot of problems — consolidating methodology, giving administrator oversight on what’s happening on the field, giving the athletes a smooth, seamless experience so that when they move on to another coach, they have all that data available. The data export is fantastic. The communication tools allowed me as an administrator to talk to coaches and athletes to help solve problems — even from afar. Having been in the space myself and being a coach, I can speak to the fact that the reduction of administrative burden, streamlining of program and delivery, plus all the customization tools and the flexibility for an organization is priceless.
To watch the full 30-minute presentation from Volt Athletics, follow this link to the TechTime landing page.