Wake Forest University's Athletic Department is dedicated to improving and enhancing the experience of student-athletes. One of the ways the department focuses on this area is by integrating technology to improve sports performance and well-being. A primary challenge the department faced was the need to test a large number of student-athletes while also ensuring that training time was not compromised. Additionally, even if they were able to assess all student-athletes, they needed to figure out how to use that testing data effectively to tailor each student's training program to address their specific needs. Finally, they needed to ensure that the testing data was reliable, with no inconsistencies in departmental testing.
“If there are a lot of student-athletes that need to be tested, typically, that means that a lot of time being taken away from training. Secondly, how are we going to presently use that testing data to maximize their training program and address their specific individual needs?”
To overcome these challenges, Wake Forest University partnered with Sparta Science, a company that specializes in developing technology to help organizations scale their Movement Health initiatives. The university purchased and implemented the Sparta Movement Health Platform (MHP), accompanied by 5 force plate-based scan kits, which were placed in the Olympic sports weight room. With the acquisition of the MHP, the testing process became much faster and more frequent without compromising reliability.
"The acquisition of these plates not only allowed for more frequent testing of our student-athletes, but it helped solve the issue of our testing possibly not being reliable."
The partnership has been highly impactful, not only for the coaches but, most importantly, for the student-athletes. Sparta Science helped expedite the testing process within the weight room to 2-3 minutes, reducing the time taken away from training. Moreover, the data collected from the testing was highly informative, with suggestions on how to maximize the student athlete's training programs and address their specific needs. The machine learning-derived metrics provided real-time after the test made the data easily digestible for anyone who needed to analyze it.
“After two years, our partnership has been extremely impactful, not only for us as coaches but, most importantly, our student-athletes.”