Vanguard Roundtable #4: Trust, Data, and Tech
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Emma Ostermann 0:07
Hello and welcome to the Vanguard Round Table where we discuss topics we believe need more attention to drive the human performance industry forward. Today’s topic is trust data and technology, and he and human performance. We do want to touch on a few housekeeping items before we dive in today. The views expressed today are those of the individual panelists, and do not necessarily reflect the position of fusion sport, or the panelists organization. Please submit your questions in the QA window, where you will also be able to upvote each other’s questions. We’ll pause during the conversation to take questions from the audience. And we’ll also leave some time at the end to review any questions as well. We do want to hear from you and we would like your feedback. At the end of today’s roundtable, we do ask that you do scan that QR code that you see on your screen, or it’s also found in the chat. For each survey that we take, or that we get from each and every one of you. We will donate $5 to Girls Who Code a global nonprofit working to close the gender gap in tech. Kicking off for today is around table we are excited to be joined by each and every single panelist you see on your screen. First step today, we do have Jo Clubb. She is a performance consultants from global performance insights. Also joining us today is Mark White. He’s the chief executive manager, CEO of SAR human performance. And then we also have Patrick DiMarco, he’s a football analyst and director of player relations from the University of South Carolina. And then myself, my name is Emma Ostermann. I’m a human performance consultant here at Fusion Sport. We’re excited to dive into today’s conversation and you’re wanting to get started right away. And Jo, I’m going to start turning to you first with why is trust with athletes and service members important when it comes to human performance optimization. Jo?
Jo Clubb 2:08
Thanks, Emma. So I think that trust is really central to performance. And, you know, anecdotally we all know, like, we all think we know what we’re talking about when we say about trust. But in preparing for the webinar, I thought I’d actually look up a proper definition to kick us off. And so I found one, which was the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party, based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action, important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party. And so from that, what jumped out at me was the willingness of a party to be vulnerable. And I think that’s at the core of it. And if we thinking about athletes, they are putting their trust, they are trying to be vulnerable, in terms of all the staff members that are involved in the sports environment. So do they trust the coaches? gameplan? Do they trust that their training practices are helping their performance? Do they trust the medical team, that the recovery or the rehabilitation they’re doing on them is going to help them physically? And do they trust the strength and conditioning coaches and sports scientists that the program’s the exercises they’re being given are actually going to help them? And so I think that is they’re being vulnerable to the decisions that other people are making. And because there are so many people involved in performance. That is why trust is so critical.
Emma Ostermann 4:00
Love that. Joe. Mark, I do want to turn to you and kind of hear your thoughts as well. On this, especially with your background, from a tactical setting. Do you have anything to add on to this?
Mark White 4:11
Thanks. I appreciate the lineup direction questioning. You know, from a service member perspective, I served active duty as an aerospace and operational physiologist. And what’s interesting about that organizational structures, I fell underneath medical service, but I wasn’t medical. And I’m not a health care group, when I did is provided instruction to service members about the environment that they were going to be working in to optimize the performance one so they could return to so they didn’t die. Right. And three, they didn’t crash really expensive aircraft. Trust is critical. And I’m going to pull in Joe’s comments and just basically put it into a different setting trust is critical to the servicemember that is climbing into the cockpit of the jet because if you can imagine there is one person, one person only that can take that player out of the game. And that would be medical. Right? It’s called DNF. Duties not to fly. Right? And so, information and data and trust in technology, all wine into, I’m a pilot, I get to go out and do my mission. If I walk into a flight surgeon’s office, and I say, Hey, I’m having heart rate issues. And, you know, here’s what I I’m feeling. And the service member feels potentially that any information that they bolts for the medical community could result in an F, interpretation of decision, more than likely they’re going to hide it. Right, that service member might hide it from the staff. So critical to operations, both from an aviation side, I suspect, it’s the same from the ground base work is that the team, the organizational structure, from the medical staff, to the performance staff, all the way to the service member, the player that’s actually performing the duties, they’ll have to trust each other, that the data that’s being collected, will be collected and utilized in good ways in decision making. Right, that allows for safe operations and successful execution. So
Emma Ostermann 6:28
it’s a really good feedback. Mark, I do think you froze there for a minute. But I do want to kind of direct it back to oh, sorry, Patrick couldn’t see your
Mark White 6:35
Oh, did you hear me back?
Emma Ostermann 6:37
There we are. Yep.
Mark White 6:38
Boy, that’s really gonna make for a horrible editing. But in the end, right, trust is critical, and especially it’s the relationship building. So I’m gonna go back to what Joseph?
Emma Ostermann 6:49
Absolutely do, I do want to kick it over to you with something that Mark said was the trust within the medical staff, with what you’ve seen, especially with within athletics, is it the same same line of thought where medical does have that same, I don’t want to say power, but same voice to be able to make that decision on either withholding an athlete from a game?
Jo Clubb 7:14
I think, and when you’re a medical practitioner, obviously, you have a particular duty, and, you know, do no harm. And so and you, you have very governed responsibilities, compared to the perhaps other members of staff, for instance, historically, you know, strength and conditioning is thought of as pushing athletes building them up making them fitter stronger, which sometimes is seen as a clash with the medical staff as to those that are protecting them. And trying to put their, perhaps their health before performance. But in, you know, performance setups that work best in my opinion, it’s that collaborative process of being to not have siloed departments that have integrated departments and conversations that are considering both the health and the performance of the athlete, both the organizational the teams needs, but also the athletes needs. And that’s can be tricky situations, as I’m sure, you know, partners experience, but that when those systems are working at their best,
Emma Ostermann 8:35
that’s awesome. And I think that’s a great segue, Pat. And for most of those of you who do not know, Patrick, was a former all pro bowler from the NFL and also served on the Players Association. And I do want to turn this next question to you, Pat, what are some of the biggest concerns of athletes in servicemembers? Is there specific data that is most of most concern?
Patrick DiMarco 8:57
Yeah, I mean, it’s all performance driven data that’s being tracked. So from an athlete standpoint, that data can be used for your commute against you when it comes to employment and opportunities in that case. And I just going back to the previous question, I think trust has a lot to do with how the athlete views the trainer’s views the strength and conditioning staff, but but it has to go hand in hand, the athlete like Joe said, the athlete has to be vulnerable to trust them. In the training staff has to be vulnerable with the athlete as well. It needs to be more of a friendship, professional relationship. It’s built to have that trust. I know myself while I was playing my favorite strength coaches were the ones that I could have life conversations with. My favorite trainers were the ones that were asking about my family, and really digging deeper than just in what the root of the problem The data they’re trying to collect is there, it was more of a holistic approach. But I think of that data that is concerning. I mean, it’s so athlete specific. And there’s always more to the story than just the data that you’re seeing. I know some of the stuff that during my time in the NFL PA, when I served as the player rep was, was teams, it was brought up, the teams wanted to track our sleep and wanted us to wear wearable devices that could potentially be worn on or off the clock. And so that was a major pushback was, when we’re not in the building, we’re not on the clock working, that data should not be provided. So yeah, I mean, I think and then the next thing would be, it’s, the data doesn’t tell you what, how the athlete feels like the athlete feels a certain way. But the trainers or strength steps might think they feel a different way. When, when your body is your body, and you understand it, and you’re, you know, you’re master of it. It just there’s there’s such, such pull in both directions, like the the best of the ability in sports, is availability and being out there and the trainers in the strengths that job is to get you back on the field as fast as possible. Are you feeling 100%? Are you feeling 80%? Worse, where’s the sweet spot on? I’m protecting that feel like I can go out there and execute my job without having any fear of harm, or harm or danger in the back of my mind? So just kind of my take, I know answer kind of both questions a little bit there.
Emma Ostermann 11:49
I love that. And Jesse, you’re unmuted, and I would love to hear your thoughts. And basically what Patrick said, one of the main questions I do have for you, Joe, from what Patrick said was, when you’re off the clock and the data that you can collect, would you mind touching on that?
Jo Clubb 12:04
Yeah, so many points there that I could delve in deeper from and obviously, Pat and I work together in Buffalo. So we we can talk about the same program as well, you know, but yeah, off the clock. That’s a really interesting debate, right? Because let’s say you have your two hours, that you’re training your practice session, where your game, where we talk a lot about the other 22 hours in performance, you need to be a 24 hour athlete. Your day job isn’t just those two hours, because as we know, with both health and performance, every everything affects it in terms of your social settings, family life, mental health, nutrition, all of that is is not just happening within the boundaries of those two hours. And so some contexts, or information from those other 22 hours, can be useful to us as practitioners for scientists, or any other practitioners trying to support the athlete. But as Pat said, you have to respect their boundaries as a human, not just as an athlete. And so I don’t think there’s a simple answer for that. I don’t think it’s ever should be, yes, we should have access to all that as much as we can over the 24 hours, or no, we shouldn’t. And I think it needs to be case by case, depending on the relationships, which again, comes back to the trust that you build within your program. And as a practitioner, with different athletes.
Emma Ostermann 13:55
To amazing take Mark, I see you and yourself. I would love to hear your thoughts, especially from the tactical side. And with the idea of off the clock. Does that does that really coincide on the tactical side as well?
Mark White 14:07
So it’s an interesting question. So it depends, I guess, if we were going to go from a legal perspective, what’s your contracts? I have two different background experiences that were kind of lend some information to an objective but biasness that I have on the data and how it could and should be used. I worked back in early 2000, late 90s. For the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for wildland firefighters. They were on duty and off duty. But what they did off duty could influence what they did on do so who should have access to information that was being gathered and when should they have access to that information? So Should your battalion chief know what your sleep habits are? Are they going to make decisions based on that? Maybe maybe not. Right. What I find interesting about this is you take that same line of question you put it in the military contract says that you’re your military service member. 24/7 365. Right. So, again, who has access to the information? And how are they making decisions? What’s really important, I feel like it’s from an organizational structural level. The mineral allude to what Joe had said, and Patrick, as well, you’re trying to develop trust with the data. So interpretation of the information, right? If I’m not a medical or healthcare provider, I should not be interpreting some of these sleep algorithms, right, or cardiac or circadian rhythms. To make a decision, you as a medical provider could provide me as a commander some information, I could say, Yeah, I trust it, they’re ready to go or not to do so I have an ultimate decision. But I don’t interpret the information. I use you to make some inferences and gather as much information as possible to then say, yes, go or no go for the player. And so when you start then talking about service members, what information can they gather? What should they gather? When are they gathering it really, that’s going to come down to an organizational management type of structure? The big, I think, question that should always be asked is, is it going to be used for disciplinary action? That comes back to trust, right? Most human beings freak out at some point or another. So just because you go out on the weekend, and you you drink alcohol, and then somebody looks at your Saturday night sleep algorithm, doesn’t mean you’re not fit for duty, come Monday. Right. So again, right, each situation in each setting, as to what Joe it’s really allows for that specific type of questioning. And it should be that robust, he should make these egregious assumptions, and then just gross generalizations. Because, quite honestly, you’re gonna make a misinterpretation and then make a mistake.
Jo Clubb 17:11
Yeah, I just want to jump off of that point as well about I thought that was really interesting. Mark, oh, you said about certain people having the knowledge and the ability to interpret the data. One of the interesting things I think we now face are is the the athletes, and presumably the surface service members, collecting their own data, in terms of having, obviously, I’ll try not to name any brand names, but there are more and more technologies available now. Where, you know, athletes can contract their sleep, which is great. And we all have the right to do that. My concern is, as a sports scientist has always been, I understand the data. And I understand the pros and cons of it, particularly these more readily available technologies. And so I think that’s an interesting challenge, where we’re not being allowed the data. But also athletes are then are they interpreting that the information that they’re collecting on their ends? And then what are they doing with that? Or how is that influencing their mindset? I mean, Pat, obviously, I think you’ve previously have worn, you know, a device like that. And how did you deal with that? If you’re, say, waking up on a game day and your own devices telling you you’re not recovered?
Patrick DiMarco 18:48
Yeah, I mean, we’re in it right now. It’s, I got wearables everywhere. It honestly it kind of it has had its pros and cons, there was times where, as an athlete, you’d wake up and you’re like, Wow, I feel great. Like I’m so primed. And then you pick up the phone, you look at your you look at the statistics that came through the night, you’re like, 40%, what in the world I feel great, like, slept good. And it’s crazy how, like, that can screw with your mindset. So going into games, I wouldn’t even look at it. I got it. That was something that I would look at later after the game. So I didn’t want that to be in my head. Because, you know, all athletes are different. They handle different stuff. But I didn’t want that information. I didn’t want to know I was gonna trust how I felt without a device telling me how I felt. Um, but it is just going into these wearables like it is. It’s amazing what the slightest thing can do to throw everything off. I mean, just from the other night I was watching a couple of the NFL playoffs Games in, you know, my sleep recovery scores usually generally 75 to 90. And I had two beers. And it threw me down to 30%. And it’s just amazing how, but it just goes to show how much that stuff does have effect on your body. And then it takes the next day, you’re still thrown off a little bit, even if it’s as little as that. Yeah, I mean, it’s just shocking how much your body can be in flux on just the slap the smallest thing.
Emma Ostermann 20:34
I think those are all really good clients, especially from an athlete and then a service member view, because I think we can all agree that they’re not going to be exactly the same, especially within the rules of sport, and then within the rules of, you know, tactical and military setting. But I think that’s a great segue, Mark, and I’m going to turn to you for this next question of how do we bridge the gap between practitioners collecting valuable data and the athletes and service members providing it? Is it more transparency with the usage of data? Or is it more education? What are your thoughts on that?
Mark White 21:07
That’s a dangerous question. Just left it open, what are your thoughts on? I really think it comes back to organizational structure. And we bridge the gap. Yeah, different. Data is agnostic, in the sense that it has no value. It’s a bunch of zeros and ones, or rows or columns. And it’s us that eventually interpreted data, this number to 348, whatever. And we give it subjective or objective value, either individually, whatever I’m looking at it as a user, or from an organizational structure, much higher up rolled up numbers, 1000s and 1000s. of rows of data averaged out, right. The way to bridge the gap, is to make sure that people trust the data. And how do you build trust, in my opinion, right. And I’ve seen this, from a data perspective, as a database manager and a developer of data warehouses. data in and of itself should be treated just like the three tenets of research. It’s accurate, it’s reliable, and it’s routine. If you can’t show me that, that data has those three elements in it in that data set, then it’s suspect. Now, what makes it suspect, there’s a thing called metadata, how it was collected, what standard operating procedures were, like, when was it collected, who was doing the data collection, right. And I’ll tell you, this is a data person, no data set is pure and pristine. It will always have minor errors and variations. So there should always be a list of assumptions when data is being presented. And so when they start talking about bridging this gap between people, right, you have to have an organizational structure with roles and responsibilities built into it, to then collect the data in a meaningful way and standardize, right, that then allows for the different views of that data, right? Three different perspectives, user scientists versus command structure, and they’re all looking at the number 48. But they’re all seeing it from a different perspective. It’s like looking at light through a prism. But somebody on one side of it, somebody on the other side is like, Oh, the color over yours Bri that then from an organizational structure begins to build the bridge between the gaps that exist from an interpretation and realization. So, you know, you ask for more transparency? Sure. I mean, that would be great. But honestly, I’d like to see policies and missions, right? All the way to doctrine, right? In my opinion, set up human performance programs, human performance program should have a data that you show me the data you are going to collect. Right? Do I need to have fun sign an informed consent as an athlete to make sure that I know what’s being collected when it’s being collected? Now, it’s going to be not because of research, but because of how this is going to provide some transparency in trusting the data from an organizational level. So, and then i Last and not least on a dress the education and I know Joe touched on it as well. You know, in the military when I was an aerospace and operational physiologist, one of the classic icebreakers I would make during my presentation and they were briefings and right education and training briefings to the Aviators, because I don’t want you to be me, right, I pointed my badge. I’m a 43 Alpha I’m a nerd, right? That is kind of a jock at side, bro, I’m going to help you be better at what you do. But I’m not you, nobody’s Throw me the keys to an F 16 and say, go out and get bad guys, Mark, that’s not going to happen. So I don’t want them to be educated like a physiologist, they don’t need to understand the underlying mechanisms. But I did need them to understand the system of blood pressure and the anti de stream and that there was a post to employ. So there was an educational process. At the same time, we would ask questions like, well, if I showed you your anti G string maneuvering your cerebral blood pressure in the cockpit, is that going to be helpful? While you’re pulling G’s out into the trading area? That’s like, well, it’s probably too much information from. So these are just opinions, there has to be an education process, both from the user level, right not to make them a scientist like me, but also to a command Well, let me help you interpret this information, right, and how it’s useful to you to make the decisions because I can’t make the decision for you. But I can help you make an informed decision.
Emma Ostermann 26:09
I love that. Joe, I do want to some of the points that Mark alluded to, especially with the bridging the gap and how that data was going to be used. I would love to hear your thoughts on that. And then Patrick, I do also want to throw to you afterwards on, you know, from an athlete perspective, like how, how do you need to see the data to bridge that gap? What was helpful for you? But yeah, I do want to turn it over to you first.
Jo Clubb 26:31
Yeah, I completely agree with Mark about the education piece. And similarly, I certainly couldn’t stand in front of a football player and claim to be able to do what they they could do. So that was quite an easy standpoint. starting point for me was, yeah, I’m not i There’s no way there’s no denying your ability is different to mine, but I’m here to help you. And it’s easier said than done. But we really work genuinely try to, to show that you care, and you know, was was there’s a saying no one really sunny about knowing and caring. Anyway, you know, we would say that to all the athletes that we do care about them, we we do want to use the data for their benefit. And we will try to take that time to explain why we were collecting it, and how we were using it, how it was being used for decision making, and then being transparent with making it available to them as well. I’m sure that there were certainly times we could do a better job of that you can never perfect it. But just things like, you know, one point we we would have paper but binders and information printed out for them on their test results with their names on it, so that they could go and access their information. Their office door was always open, and players could come in and see their, you know, their tracking data or their testing data. And I hope that we did try, even if we didn’t always achieve it to do that education piece, because sometimes I think we need to spin it back on ourselves as the practitioners and think if we were having all this kind of tracking data done on ourselves, and being asked every day, how we felt and how we slept. And if we were in a good mood, and then having our steps around the building tracks and how maybe how long are you conduct conversing with different people? And we don’t always reflect on that perspective, if it was us. So, yeah, I think that the trust is built on the education and the communication piece and trying to show the athletes that we are genuinely trying to do it, for use it for their benefit. Now, Pat can tell you if he experienced that or not.
Emma Ostermann 29:07
That’s what I’m looking for. I would love to hear your perspective, especially with what Joe and Mark have both touched on from the education and transparency piece. From your side. What are your thoughts on that?
Patrick DiMarco 29:18
Yeah, I would say from an athlete standpoint, like I want to know, obviously, we know the athletes know know what you’re tracking, we perform exercises to give you data that is basically dissecting ourselves What were our strengths or weaknesses areas to work on. But I wouldn’t I mean, I wouldn’t say that we always understood like exactly what the information was being used for. We know what you’re what you’re trying to grab from it, but how
Emma Ostermann 29:53
one of my favorite
Patrick DiMarco 29:54
things that that Joe in the sport sidestep did in Buffalo was As with those binders that she’s talking about, they would present it to us. And generally, it was only once, maybe twice a year, or I would say that would be something that we, that could have been done a little better as maybe we do it every quarter or something just so it’s constant information. So we can constantly know for brewing if we’re staying the same, if we’re regressing, but I thought it was really cool. What you guys did was like, mainly on the force play testing on where the output is where the strengths of your your strong are your long and strong athlete or your quick, explosive burst of an athlete, in where you are on the spectrum. The spectrum is like, what’s the normal for an athlete at your weight size position? Like? What are areas you can work on? How can you work on those areas? Where is where are you going to? Where should you put your time the most be? Where should you allocate your time to make you most successful moving forward. And then also, as athletes, it’s always nice to be back on a Mac until be really good at something too. So like where your strengths are. And like, like Joe is always like that you’re, you’re really strong and resilient. But you really need to work on being explosive in your fast twitch muscle fibers. And I’m like, I know, Joe, I’ve been fighting that battle since I was 15 years old. So I mean, just I guess communication and constant communication and just furthering the education along just so you. So it’s not just we got the information. Here’s the information, we’re going to present it to you one time, and then we’ll do it again next year. I just wish there was more semi annually or every quarter just like kind of filling in like okay, this is where you’re at now. This is where you’re at now, you get better you get worse mutates us.
Mark White 31:54
Emma, do you mind if I tack on something on
Emma Ostermann 31:56
the education? salutely? Mark? Yes, please feel free to.
Mark White 32:00
I’ll be curious to hear again, with Joel Patrick had to say about this. But over the 25 plus years, I’ve been practicing as a human performance practitioner, right? Not necessarily after practitioner. I’ve come up with analogies and the analogies really are maybe metaphors. But they’re because I’ve done these logic thought problems in my head, trying to figure out how somebody sitting across a table for me is perceiving the information they’re giving. Right? When I am to help set up an exercise physiology laboratory, just like it was at Sac State just down the street from where our facility was one of the things that I had to come up against with with regards to forming the public that is walking into the gym and getting it the next task was heartbeat into protection. Right back in the day, we were using ventilatory equivalence and looking at different heart rate ranges. And they would ask me well, but the treadmill has this heart rate range values for it as well. These are normative values, right? These are not accurate relative to your current physical fitness that I measured when I put a mask on. There was an education process. So one of the analogies I came up with, it’s you know, interestingly enough, mothers and fathers, our parents teach us how to use tools. Somebody taught us how to use a hammer and a screwdriver. When do we, how do we use, okay? But we’ve got a tool that’s given to us at birth, it’s called a body and from the neck down, who teaches you how to use it? When do we get taught how to use it. Now back in the day when I was going to school is called physical education. They don’t want to go down that social aspect of it. But there’s an educational process to understanding the body. And when you look at servicemembers being indoctrinated into a new job, they’re going through boot camp, there are plans of instructions, organized programs where we have time allotted within a certain day to actually do education and training, which will help the service member begin to understand probably what they didn’t understand before, like, how does load distribution in your ruck change your physical performance for a specific timeframe in this rock, and the elevation gain is elevation gains and changes you’re going to have throughout that period of time. Education and training is important to the person and quite honestly, each setting is slightly different. But like Patrick was saying, Your touch points it doesn’t you don’t have to have this massive data dump. It’s like maybe it’s quarterly training. Maybe it’s weekly. It’s gonna depend on I think the situation but it’s critical because right now, but honestly, there’s a lot of myths out there and health and fitness industry doesn’t do a good job of You know, elucidating those myths?
Emma Ostermann 35:06
Absolutely, I think those are all really good points from from each and every single one of you. Thank you so much for that. But I do want to keep the conversation moving with our next question. And gentlemen, turn to you on this. From a technology perspective, devices, databases, apps network, or human performance programs, prioritizing data, privacy and security as they should. How does this play into building trust? Joe? Yeah, so
Jo Clubb 35:30
that’s obviously a very important question. I think there is. There’s a distinction, right between the health data piece and then the performance piece. And I say it’s a distinction, but there are some Blurred Lines there between some data sources. So to some extent, obviously, medical data in the US is regulated by the HIPAA compliance rules, then in the UK, and Europe, there are, there’s GDPR now around data protection. And so I think it’s, you know, as big data in our societies evolved, it’s, we’re now trying to catch up to it to some extent. And I think that a lot of the kind of off off the shelf athlete, data management systems can really help you in that sense, because sometimes they have a grip on the data privacy and security. And so you have to be really careful how you’re, they’re managing it on your end, or if you have an in house system. So I think that the storage of it is, is, you know, meeting those needs, I think, where there are challenges are some of the kind of the day to day practices we see where like, you know, we we’d like to use leaderboards, because we like to give athletes back their information and their competitive base. So often, you know, not the entire list from from top to bottom. But some of the the top scorers of a test or the fastest speeds. It that can help build trust, because you’re involving the athletes. But then how does that sit with the privacy piece? It’s a bit of a gray area, I think for practitioners, and then things like if you’re in a setting where athletes go off to play for their country on international duty, or even perhaps thinking in, in football, when athletes are coming out of college and going to a team or maybe then they’re changing teams, what who owns that data? What happens to it? It’s in the in my opinion, bias the athletes interest for their management for that data to be shared. But actually, who owns it and who can control that being shared, I think is is a murky area that we face nowadays as practitioners.
Emma Ostermann 38:26
Absolutely, I think that’s a good point. And Mark and Patrick, I’d love to hear your guys’s thoughts, especially regarding the who owns it piece, you know, especially when you retire. Does that data travel with you? Are the teams allowed to still on that data? Margin from your standpoint, especially with the tactical military setting? If a service member retires, does their data retire with them? Or does that stay lodged in, you know, with the company that they’re assigned to? So pat or mark enough for us to chime in?
Patrick DiMarco 39:00
Yeah, I I just retired, retired after a neck injury in 2021. During I got hurt during the 2020 training camp. And I guess I know that the data is my data. But other than seeing it on those leaderboards or in that packet, I I never was giving anything else like the closure of when I was done. My contract is terminated about fly wasn’t supplied. All my information. I don’t know if that’s that standard. If that’s not standard, I guess that goes kind of into the educational piece of like, maybe as a union we should notify our athletes more like hey, your information, your information, you need to collect it every week. I guess that’s an error on kind of the player standpoint. But Joe, how can we put my top means up on these leaderboards more often than more often than not, I only saw my name like once or twice was, was there a glitch in the system? Or,
Jo Clubb 40:07
you know, I didn’t hide to make the other guys feel bad. You knew where you what speed you were hitting really?
Patrick DiMarco 40:14
Yeah. When when they when we posted those every day after practice now is shook my head when the running backs are passing around. And they’d always joke around like saying, oh, Pat, you hit a new, high speed for you. But I mean, it’s very middle of the back for our position now, Mike. Thanks, guys appreciate that. I’ll pass it over to Mark.
Emma Ostermann 40:34
Absolutely. That’s a great point. And Mark. Yeah. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.
Mark White 40:39
So I’m going to approach the question from an outside human performance program perspective to begin with, right, from an industry perspective, a data is being being collected for decades. And the motivation for the industry, I think helps formulate how well made they answer this question. From a technology perspective, are the insurance companies prioritizing data and privacy and security as they should? Yes, absolutely. Because it’s the bottom line or return on investment? Right, because I know that it’s a revenue generator for this comes from a person that did data warehousing for insurance companies, workers comp, property liability. What I find interesting, over the years, as you know, I continue to stay in the house human performance, program perspective, data collection, and the organizational management of the data relative to this question, in that industry, the human performance industry, that’s brand new. And so the organization’s you know, are they doing it, you ask the question, are they doing it properly when they’re looking at data privacy and security? Yeah, they’re they’re starting to ask these questions. Could they do it better? Yes. Right. And there is no reason why the himer performance industry needs to reinvent the wheel. Right? What they need to do is look at other industries and understand how they did it, and why they did it, and then make the adjustments and changes to their mission. So from a service member perspective, absolutely. People that that I’ve chatted with it, they’re asking all the right questions. Is there a program that allows for acquisition and proper organization and structure doctrine for the privacy and protection and security of the data that’s being developed? Who’s responsible for it? Each service, right? Should it follow the service member from the point that they they get into the military, they sign the contract to become an asset to the military organization? To the Department of Veterans Affairs? Right? And what back injuries and knee injuries? They occurred during their their mission? And how’s that going to look at the longevity of their health care after around? Right, so there is a return on investment, because your performance, you don’t do a good job from an organizational structure in identifying those data elements and tracking it appropriately, and creating reports for that. And I’ll just be very blunt. The insurance industry does it because it’s based on revenue. Right? Human Performance doesn’t have this direct relationship for prevention gives me this much money in return. But there are ways that you can organize information properly, to where you can show prevention, right, it’s using a retrospective approach. And it’s not research its operational utilization and data where it shows effectiveness or efficacy of a program. My biggest thing when I look at implementation of devices, right, what bugs me the most as scientists, as a scientist, is I’ll walk up to devices says, Okay, this device says it’s reporting or reporting this. Great, show me your validation stuff. If they don’t have a validation study, then I’m not going to tell them that your product is not worthy. But as a you’ve got some work to do. This is why we have standards and metrics and measurements. We don’t just create our own metric and say, Here it is. We use it, compare it against something else. Dec says the new gold standard versus hydrostatic weighing, right? Because research was done to validate the methodology procedures. So to me implementation devices, it’s kind of a separate line item for this perspective, but you don’t just pick devices because it looks Cool. Okay, you have to have a validation to Sian shows that the device is, what it what it’s reporting, what it’s measuring, is truly exactly what it needs to be reporting and measure.
Emma Ostermann 45:14
I love that Josie unmuted yourself, I would love to hear your thoughts on that as well.
Jo Clubb 45:18
Yeah, I was just interested in what Mark was saying there about the organizational piece, and that having the power of the data in a structured manner that can be tracked over time, I think we’ve seen it in some some sports. And so for instance, in European soccer, the the football Research Group have done the UAE for injury audits for maybe 10 years now, from which there have been, you know, meaningful findings in terms of injury incidents. But you do require that power, and you do require that collaboration. And, and I know as well, you know, the NFL have various research programs going on now. And trying to collate data from across the teams to have the statistical power to carry out that research. And that’s obviously what we need to do, because we need to understand we need that amount of data to understand the patterns. But it can be a challenge in the sporting environment when you are competing against each other. And so I think that is a real challenge we’re facing because, yeah, everyone wants to, to help, but they don’t want to help the team that they’re playing against at the weekend. And so, yeah, that’s just one of the challenges we face in sport that we need that collaboration for, for the datasets. But obviously, really, the organization’s aren’t comfortable with that setup. So I think that’s just an interesting dynamic that we have in the industry at the moment.
Emma Ostermann 47:08
Really interesting thought, yeah. Do you have anything to add to that?
Patrick DiMarco 47:11
Yeah, I mean, I just, from an from the athlete standpoint, just kind of going off with what Joe said, like, from the competitiveness like there’s, there’s injuries and stuff that pops up that an athlete is dealing with, but they don’t want to give that information out. Because they don’t want it to negatively affect them. Like I know. I’m, I’m kind of wired different, and always have been as a player standpoint, but I mean, the number of concussions that I probably had when I was playing compared to the ones that are documented. Oh, yeah, I only documented one. And I mean, there was, golly, a lot of instances where I like stood up. And I had kind of my own rule in my head was if, if I get my bell rung, and I get back to the huddle, and the quarterback starts talking, and I have no clue what they’re saying, get on a knee, and don’t move. But in that 20 to 32nd spiel, I for some, my brain just works that way. But I was always other than that one time, they want to reel it back in and come back to my senses. But I know that that was kind of held against me. It was in 2019, I believe I had a concussion against the New England Patriots. And it wasn’t a big color. It was one of the smaller collisions, I just took a knee right kind of decided to head and it’s called me in a funky spot. And I remember I went to the sideline, and the and I felt like there was something in my eye because my vision was just blurry. I had all my senses. And I felt fine in the moment. But like the lower half of my eye, like I thought we played on the turf field. So I thought there was a little black pebble from the turf in my eye. And I somehow talked to trainer into squirting water might have tried to rinse it and this man goes back. There’s nothing in your eye where you hit the head. And I’m like, No, I wasn’t getting any kidney, pulling back out on the field. So it’s just from a contractual standpoint, availability is your best ability. So you don’t ever want to not be on the field. But what sense and you guys, the rest of the panelists can probably chime in, or are you hurting your teammates and hurting the team by being out there in such a vulnerable state? Which, in the in the heat of the competition, like you don’t ever want to pull yourself out you don’t ever want to be considered weak or inferior. But sometimes being able to swallow that pride of being able to drop down to a knee and being like I’m not alright. is going to help your team win a long run.
Emma Ostermann 49:50
Absolutely. And I think that carries through some of the questions that we have coming in through the through the q&a chat. I do want to pose this to to the panelists here. We do have one regarding Nia out there NFL and data privacy laws and how much control influence athletes feel they have over how their data is used. Does anybody, Joe? And Mark, do you have anything to add on to that? Some of these laws within the collegiate setting the professional setting, or even in the service member setting? Do you see that? Do you feel like these data privacy laws, influence how the athletes basically can feel or understand how their data is being used? Joe,
Jo Clubb 50:29
I think from my experience, it may be something that is coming a bit more in the future. So as Pat White spoke about very honestly, you know, he didn’t receive his data. And he said, you know, maybe that’s a mistake on the player’s behalf. I don’t think that’s a mistake. I think currently, that’s the norm. What I’m interested in is how that may change in the future, because I think we could see a shift in that. And so I just think we we’ve rapidly increased the amount of data that’s being collected. And now legislation, and even, you know, what that means that for, for the athletes or the service members? Is it they’re trying to catch up? Almost.
Emma Ostermann 51:21
I would agree, especially from the standpoint, you know, of being a former collegiate coach, you know, the performance realm is constantly changing. And, you know, what may seem new now, may not be new to another organization that has been previously, like Mark alluded to, before. I do have another question I want to take from the q&a chat. And Patrick, I do think this is will be directed more towards you is, are the player unions helping or hurting when it comes to building trust around the use of data tech, if hurting, what could they do differently that could help with athletes and performance coaches?
Patrick DiMarco 51:54
I so the union, it’s, it’s different. It’s kind of a fine line. Because when it comes to the owner owners in the union, I mean, it’s like kind of a war. I mean, with the CBA. Like, obviously, stuff is negotiated through the CBA. But I wish the union wouldn’t, wouldn’t push it so much that the NFL or the league, or the owners are doing everything to punish them, hold them back. I mean, honestly, over the last, you know, 10 years, I think the league has done a good job of more empowering the players and giving them a voice. But when it comes to the data, I mean, they’re just the union is so guarded, and what they want the NFL, they’re trying to give, give the players as much freedom as possible. So they’re trying to protect our data as much as possible. When in all reality, if this was my idea, and it’s like I’ve mentioned this a long time ago, when I was in the union meetings, is if if the Union could have some sort of contractual agreement with the training staff with the strength staff, if there was more of a joint effort between organization and union. I mean, I just know that if, say, if our athletic training staff was was hired by the NFLPA to serve for the Buffalo Bills, I know that I would be able to trust my athletic training staff more, or at least I would feel, because I know that the people that had my back and aren’t necessarily I’m not like the NFLPA can’t fire me, just like the Buffalo Bills could fire me, if they were the ones that made those hiring choices that maybe I would be able to trust the the ball club more, because it’s a joint group that’s not necessarily trying to dissect me and find my vulnerabilities as much, if that makes sense.
Emma Ostermann 54:10
Absolutely. And I think that’s a really good point. And, you know, as we’ve alluded to most of this conversation is you know, how these things keep developing and keep growing and establishing the new norms. It’ll be interesting to see how that continues to grow. As we continue on down our path of performance. We are already a little bit short on time, and I do want to get this next question. And for Mark, we have touched on this a lot from this conversation. I would love to just touch on it one more time is what role does organizational structure doctrine policy procedures play in establishing trust data and technology and the implementation of a human performance program?
Mark White 54:45
Mark? So yeah, we’ve been chatting about it basically, very beginning of the podcast. And I’ll try and make this brief right so everybody, get there. your two cents in mind, it’s really only just about a half a cent. It’s two cents. It’s point 005. Organizational Structure establishes trust from the top. Right, and where how I’m referring to this authentic human performance program is that need to have roles, responsibilities, proper doctrine, setup policies and procedures, right. And then we fill those positions with people that are actually subject matter experts in the world and responsibility that they’re supposed to actually fulfill. Now, how does that build trust? Well, let’s go back to the three tenets of research right reliability, accuracy and repeatability of the data. I as a strength coach should not be a data guy for human performance program, I can collect some information, but there are true database managers, right, Chief Information Officers, there’s data scientist, work analysts, right. And they all fulfill different roles from a data analytics perspective. So if I’m setting up a human performance progress, I’ve got a list of positions all the way from health care providers to chemo performance practitioners, right. And to me, this is one of the things that I have seen industries make mistakes in, in, in trying to employ this data analytical approach to their industry is that they don’t loop down, because they don’t want to create a new position, or it’s too expensive. Right? It doesn’t provide revenue for me, you know, it is not really important to us, because it’s a red line item, it’s not a black line, I can’t make money off. But if an organization can truly establish at least some basic roles and responsibilities, from a data perspective, that trust is usually easily translatable to the other person, right that sitting on the other side, whether it’s commander user, right, it’s an athlete, or it’s an athletic director, that there is objectivity, and unbiasness, in the approach, that the data is being stored, collected, right, and then interpreted, because it’s data person, I probably don’t necessarily have the background to make these decisions. But I can do some wonderful things and helping develop queries and answer questions, right. And then I also understand from an organizational structure, the data person privacy and security, right, and who gets access to it. And I control that, right. And there is no real bias as a data person, as to why can be bought out easily, I’m going to get this different promotion, because I’m a strength coach managing this and then the coach asked me for that data right now. Just throw it out hypotheticals there. That type of investment will build the trust.
Emma Ostermann 58:11
Absolutely, Joe, I know Mark alluded to some things in sport, do you see that being able to transition in the sport sport realm based up where you were from briefly?
Jo Clubb 58:19
Yeah, so I agree with a lot of that, what Mark said, and again, in my very biased view, I think the Buffalo Bills organization has done a phenomenal job of that. And I think that’s part of what we’re seeing now in terms of both injury outcomes and performance outcomes. In terms of having brought in a phenomenal director of analytics, and management and taken data management in house, recognizing the knowledge of the experts in their area, bringing in staff, you can connect the silos and try and use that. I think one of the challenges that we face that may be more specific to sport. I don’t know how it works in the military. Is every year in the NFL, you start with 90 athletes. And you well, previously, it was 53 plus 10. And I think it’s changed in the last year. But you know, and Pat has obviously experienced this as an individual, you’re you’re lining up in the summer, and you’re looking around you know, 20 to 30 of the people around you will not have a job will not be in the organization come September and so, then the data that is being collected on you, you naturally think that it is being used towards that decision making. And so that is a really big challenge as a practitioner because that is a fact. That is what is going on. But you You have to try and build the trust to with the athlete that you you have their individual best intentions in mind, even if you cannot personally guarantee that they’ll still be a member of the organization in a few months time. And that that is a really big challenge in sport and in particular in football.
Emma Ostermann 1:00:22
Absolutely. Paddy want to give you the opportunity here to also touch on this? What are your thoughts?
Patrick DiMarco 1:00:26
Yeah, I agree. It’s really tricky. And, you know, it’s a numbers game. And as, you know, you start the offseason with with 90 Guys, and then you trickle it down, and only so and so get somebody to camp and then the first round of cuts, so you’re looking around, you’re like, off, and you’re in your dissuading you’re like, Okay, well, we still have this at this position left, and you’re playing a numbers game, which, which, on top of like, trying to execute against giant human beings that are much bigger and stronger and faster than you. And then you’re also playing mental games, trying to figure out where your life is gonna look like here, the next couple months, it’s, you know, it’s pretty totally, but you have to, I think it goes into, like, trusting those analytics and having the relationship to those people that have that you’ve been trusted to have your best interests at heart. And you just got to have to, you have to be vulnerable, and you have to go all in like you can’t like the problem is, is when athletes start to play those mind games, they’ve already kind of lost, because they’re fighting against themselves, not not to mention fighting against the true competition. So it’s tricky. And, you know, you wish that everyone I put in the time and effort could could reap the benefits, but it it’s a competitive state, and there’s only you know, 2000 of those jobs in the world. So that’s why all those analytics and all the data really, really means a lot. I know we’re kind of losing times counting down. But I, I had a question for Joe, if that, if that’s possible for me. But like when it comes to that data, and even mark can chime in. But I guess an athlete, I unfortunately, I peaked at a young age, I peaked when I was probably 24 years old, I was as strong as I was ever going to be, was as fast as I was ever going to be. And like it just, it never was, the more training I could do, like I was always going to stay the same. And I was going against athletes that were much bigger and stronger and faster than me and they were constantly climbing. So like from doing the force plate analysis in the groin, squeezing this now like, I knew where I was at, I knew what my favorite playing Wait, what is as a player, and unnecessarily I, I didn’t see eye to eye with when it comes to where my strength needed to be or where my weight needed to be with the staff. So I just don’t if I always struggle with this, because I wanted to be lighter, because I realized that I was strong. But I realized what I lacked was speed. So teams wanted to be heavier, because maybe I’ll have stronger, harder knock back. But if I felt that a lighter weight I was able to run and I wasn’t getting knocked back. Why do I need those extra three or four pounds? So I guess if Joe, you could chime in because you know kind of the whole situation directly in the mark. In a similar boat with you in the military? I’m sure there’s a lot of that as well.
Jo Clubb 1:03:43
Yeah, I No one knows right, like performance is complex performance unless you are a sprinter or a cyclist. For performance. Defining performance for them is straightforward, more straightforward, right? Whoever runs it faster sacrifices in. In team sport, it’s much more complex. And in football in particular, given how complicated the game is, it is more complex. So people have to blend the art and the science to come up with what approaches they think are best. Who was right or wrong about your best weight for example, playing Wait, we will never know. But I personally think that the athletes voice is important that is a piece of data in itself, even if it’s not a piece of technology. And we for instance with wellness, we try to capture that how are you feeling today? We try and make it objective. But also, you know, we would like people to come in and sit on our couch and tell us how they’re feeling because again that is a piece of data. But sometimes people can get lost in the numbers. And people can get a set range or a set target or a set number in mind as a practitioner or as a player. And they can focus on that and think that so there are clashes, like you describe in terms of what the athlete feels, what the practitioner feels over time. In some ways, again, the more data that we collect, the more informed we can be. And so maybe, actually, in five years time, if you were that 24 year old, again, we maybe had a better understanding of how physical preparation relates to performance, how force plate data relates to performance. And maybe at that point, we could give you better training interventions that actually did make a difference. But it’s always it that comes back to our first I guess, full circle to the first point of like, there’s lots of different voices in input in human performance, which is a mixture of, of art and science, of objectivity, of subjectivity. And, and hopefully, when everyone’s listening to everyone, it works well. And then other times, perhaps it doesn’t.
Emma Ostermann 1:06:22
Mark, would you like to add on anything?
Mark White 1:06:24
Yeah, you know, it’s it’s an interesting question, Patrick, and I’ve got to create agreeing with Joe, you know, the way I approach that, that kind of the question that you’re asking that there’s more than just somebody’s physical readiness, right? All human beings have the same bio motor abilities are all developed slightly differently. And it depends on the performance or the job tasks that you want out of the individual. And I would have looked at your position and said, Okay, right. It’s kind of like the, excuse the television show fun, but it’s the right can’t effect, right, it’s, uh, oh, you’re old, he but he has skill and proficiency, there’s maturity and he can teach other people things. So, you know, you’re not washed up, because you don’t have the same physical bio motor abilities that you did at the very beginning. Right. And so you look at servicemembers. That’s why we have rank, right? You start off at 81, right, or lieutenant and then you gain that rank, skill and proficiency. So maybe you’re not out there on the front line every day. But they’re still important, right, that you contribute to the team that improves overall performance. And then from a service member perspective, its mission and performance. And to me, there’s more than just the physical readiness, you know, in a session and selection perspectives in the military. And so all you have a bench press or deadlift, 350 pounds, you’re in, let’s go, oh, we need to look at a few other things to, to see how this holistic approach to performance and this individual’s prepared for that. That’s one of the quite honestly, the tricky parts to performance, it’s readiness. Whoo, what is readiness? Well, that’s kind of sticky and gooey, right? There’s going to be different domains of readiness, cognitivism, logical, spiritual, physical. So at least from my perspective, I that’s how I would approach in this line of questioning, you know, I want to take you out of the game quite yet. Or I want to say, hey, Patrick, throw an extra three pounds off, that’s gonna help you that is the key. Like, really, I’m sure. I love it.
Patrick DiMarco 1:08:34
I used to I used to chug waters before I had a weigh in to make sure that I was like two or three pounds heavier. And then I could just go to the bathroom and get that way right off me. So there’s tricks to the trade as an athlete to
Emma Ostermann 1:08:46
Oh, man, Joe, Patrick, Mark, this has been a wonderful conversation, your guys’s insights on this topic has been, I know a learning experience for myself. And as well as the the attendance attendees we have as well. But as mentioned before, we are running a little bit short on time, and I hate to cut us off. But we thank each and every single one of you for joining us this afternoon. Joe Mark Patrick myself, we do invite our panels to connect with us via our social media handles below. Moving forward, like we mentioned at the beginning, we do want to hear your feedback. Please take three minutes to tell us what you thought of today’s roundtable and what topics you would like us to consider for future sessions. Once again, for every survey completed, we will donate $5 to Girls Who Code a global nonprofit working to close the gender gap in tech. That QR code is up on your on your screen as well in the chat channel. We do want to make you aware that we have some more upcoming roundtables next month the fitness gap and then in March body image and performance, please sign up When notified once registration opens. Once again, Joe Patrick Mark, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. Each and every one of you provided so much great information and we look forward to hearing and seeing everyone next time thanks everyone thank you
Patrick DiMarco 1:10:08
awesome thank you
Jo Clubb 1:10:09