Thursday, October 1, 2015

The New Breed of Coaching

             IBM Watson is taking athletics training to a whole new level.  The goal of IBM is to maximize the performance of elite runners using their technology of data analysis.  The reasoning for using this technology is flawless, however will not having an actual coach have an effect on the runners who are participating in this revolutionary project?
            This technology could undoubtedly be a game changer in the sport of competitive running as well as other sports.  Although sports medicine is a very advanced field, the rapid updates that IBM could potentially relay to athletes is unmatched by humans.  The second part of this technology that is a major improvement is IBM’s ability to be one hundred percent accurate as it pertains to the treatment an athlete needs to receive.  This would cover injuries and potential injuries, nutrition, fatigue, and stress levels.  IBM Watson would also be able to take small variables into effect like travel schedules and body recovery time after competition.  This technology could also potentially save sports teams as well as individual players a lot of money.  If potential injuries are identified and treated right away, the chances of an elite player suffering a career ending injury would definitely decrease.  The reason for the usage of IBM Watson for this analysis would be to figure out how the best runners in the world train.  How is it that all of the best runners in the world come from approximately the same place?  This is what IBM Watson would be used to figure out.
            Should IBM Watson be taken seriously on this matter?  I strongly believe it should be.  Technology has worked wonders for a lot of athletes.  We have learned that different equipment works better for different people.  If IBM Watson could tailor a fitness regiment for the best athletes in the world, there is no telling how great those athletes could be.  Should coaches be substituted for computers?  I do not think so.  Coaches offer a certain support and motivation that are necessary for success.  Mark Rowland, the head coach for Oregon Track Club Elite…views Coach Watson as more of a coaching assistant rather than a competitor, according to Moore. Partnering with Coach Watson will be a way for Rowland to keep up-to-date with the latest research, to support his gut instincts with data-driven decisions, and to make sense of all the physiological and biomarker data that’s now possible to collect from athletes to gain a competitive edge” (Basulto).  Overall, there is no reason why IBM Watson should not be used in the training process.  It is a revolutionary technology that could maximize athlete performance as well as offer protection of athletes.

Basulto, Dominic. "What IBM Watson Can Do for Elite Athletes." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the post that Watson would be an asset to the training world; athletes could see statistics on their workouts and races, thus showing them which areas they need to improve on. It also provides an added bonus to help coaches "draft" a team; they can look at the data of potential players or team members to see their injury probability in order to assemble a less volatile team.
    Although I do see how Watson could be beneficial to athletes and coaches, I could see how it could be used as a mechanism for cheating. Since any technology can be hacked, Watson could be hacked by an athlete's competitor to see their training mechanisms and gain an unfair advantage. Also, the lack of human input on training regimines that could result if Watson fully replaces a coach could actually lead to more injury. Sometimes, data is not enough to prevent injury, so it is necessary for a coach to be paired with this software in order to protect athlete safety.


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