“Data without context is just numbers on a page.”

Patrick Ward came across the country to share ways the organization he works with evaluates sporting demands at The 2018 Edition of The Seminar. This presentation is, obviously, from the American Football perspective, but one that can be utilized across all sporting realms. This discussion begins with Patrick breaking down what sport science is, and more importantly what it isn’t, and what he sees the role of the sport scientist is and his role in the field. Patrick breaks down his three-step process for evaluating the demands of his sport, American Football. Patrick gives us some examples of how they have gone through these three steps and how it has implemented how they evaluate their athletes and want technologies they use now and WHY they use that tech. This includes how they tie together different measurements including sRPE, Wellness Questionnaires, and GPS units.

We, as practitioners, look at how we design training and evaluate athletes and take many things for their face value. This is the biggest take away from this talk, is that we need to do a better job of looking at the things we are being told to do and use and make sure they are actually looking at and doing what they say they are. Being able to dive deeper into what we are using, why we use it, and how it can be even more beneficial to what we do (even if that’s without using it). This break down as to how we look at things is absolutely huge.

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