Sports medicine professionals, athletic trainers and sport coaches at University of San Francisco discuss the use of objective data to align health and performance to help student athletes reduce injury and play stronger and longer. Stephanie Ludwig is the Assistant AD for USF and has used Sparta data with her athletes for years.
My name is Stephanie Ludwig I am the Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Training at the University of San Francisco.
Sparta is a platform that allows us to evaluate, assess and program for our student athletes. It goes across multiple domains of performance and injury prevention and what we utilize it for at USF from the Sports Medicine side of things is collaboration between our strength coaches and our athletic trainers to speak a common language and to be able to assess injury risk, assess performance variables within our athletes, and then program and apply them together in order to get our student athletes performing at a high level or minimizing the injury risk.
From a performance perspective you have; how do we get our athletes stronger, faster, help better movers on the field but from the injury perspective, the sports medicine side; how do we also prevent athletes from being sidelined and prevent big surgeries, big injuries, you know, things that are taking away from not only time on the field, but also money in the pockets.
Sparta has really allowed us to try to get as much meaningful data as possible and make data-driven decisions every single day.
The Sparta process is very simple quick; we do the vertical jump assessment we also do the sway and stabilize and after that we sit down and we go through the data together, the head strength coach and myself or the sport coaches, and we go through the player profile in order to set programs and protocols for them moving forward. During the season and during the offseason. It allows us to sit down with a student-athlete and help them understand, not only what their body is made up of, but where they need to go in order to become a better soccer player or a better basketball player. It also allows us to, throughout the year, measure the load that’s being placed upon our players at our peak hours, when we’re traveling, playing two games a weekend, practicing every day and still lifting twice a week. We need to be able to monitor our players load, so we sit down and we go through our data and do frequent scans to assess that and make sure that we’re having meaningful conversations with our sport coaches on what our players are experiencing physically.
We’re in a time, in an era, where student-athletes want to know all that they can about themselves in order to get better every day and perform at the highest level, so the more that we can sit down and invest in them the more that they’ll invest in our programs and be able to return that investment at the end of the day and hopefully win championships and prevent as many injuries as possible.