A few weeks ago we talked about one of the biggest issues in health and sports organizations – high turnover. American football performance staff is definitely one of the biggest offenders in that staff are usually hired and fired based on wins and losses, NOT how well they actually do their job. In fact, that was one of the main drivers in the genesis of Sparta Science back in 2008 – validating good coaches and practitioners.
With data collection being at an all-time high there should be mass amounts of longitudinal data collected within organizations, but there is not. There are many reasons for gaps in data, but the biggest reason for missing links in data is turnover. New staff bring in their own people and philosophies, which is great, but in the process, they are also (more times than not) destroying and kicking out any historical data and technology because it’s not “theirs.” While I would agree in doing things “your way” when being hired somewhere, there are certainly times when technology is not evaluated as it should before throwing out.
Data is the Anchor
While too much data can most definitely be an issue, it can act as an anchor, especially in times of high turnover. Let’s face it, the best organizations in health and performance are consistently aligned from top to bottom – and everyone is on the same page/plan for each individual. The easiest way to do that, even in times of turnover, is through consistent data points in one place.
What Language are you Speaking?
During my time as a practitioner in Major League Baseball data not only helped get my coaches up to speed during times of turnover, but it also allowed the sports medicine department and strength and conditioning staff to speak the same language. If there is anything that helps organizations thrive it’s an open line of communication between the two departments, which has traditionally been siloed.
One of the biggest issues GM’s and owners face is identifying potential new staff hires and how they will mesh with current or existing staff. One thing is for sure – and that is when powerful data exists it should serve to better help the athletes, who (unlike staff) aren’t going anywhere. Data is more than acute measurements (weight pushed/faster runs) – it is longitudinal trends, and tracking outcomes that matter (injuries/games missed) that should not be ignored or trashed by anyone on staff.
At the end of the day, it’s about the athletes. If practitioners aren’t speaking the same language within departments then how can the athlete be getting the best information about their health and performance? When a few pieces of data are collected and conversed about frequently there can be dramatic improvements in the health of an organization and ongoing monitoring to ensure success.