logo the Spot

Science and technology are transforming our ability to maximise human performance and digital innovation provides a quantum leap in learning, training and competing as an athlete. At THE SPOT in May, experts discussed the future for the athletes of tomorrow, their athlete-coach relationship and for sport in general. The panel was composed of a five-time Olympian, industry experts and academic specialists.

See below or click here to relive the debate.

Let’s have a closer look at one of the hot topics discussed by the high powered panel: artificial intelligence. In the traditional athlete-coach relationship, the coach evaluates the physical and psychological conditions of the athlete and adapts the training plan according to reliable and standardised measures, and his experience. The coach has an essential role, interpreting physiological data and athletes’ behaviours. 

Thanks to connected sensors, more and more physiological parameters are recorded and are easy to access by any athlete or coach. But, being exposed to so many measurements implies being able to understand them, which allows the coach to gain insight on the athletes’ shape and adapt their training plans.

For example, a simple thoracic belt recording electrocardiogram coupled to artificial intelligence can detect modifications in the autonomic nervous system, which indicates that the body is fighting against a perturbation. This situation may be an important warning for a future overtraining syndrome or an indicator for the coach that it is time to modify the training plan and investigate the origins of the perturbations in order to correct them. Artificial intelligence is a crucial tool for interpreting data, but also for predicting future events, therefore delivering essential information to the coach.

The panel at THE SPOT agreed that artificial intelligence will keep growing in sport technology, but that it will only be efficient if it relies on a solid scientific basis and relevant use. Artificial intelligence will not replace the coach but will become a tool that cannot be overlooked.

The above reflections on artificial intelligence have been kindly provided by be.care SA, a Swiss start-up active in the connected health industry. be.care supported THE SPOT as a silver partner and by providing its expertise on this very topic.