Cutting-edge technology is revealing how athletes' bodies work - and will transform sports forever


Everton FC soccer football

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Today's professional athletes are faster and stronger than ever

Top athletes in individual sports possess physical characteristics that make them uniquely suited to excel (picture Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps), and teams are built up of players with special skills and strength that make them some of the only people in the world capable of handling their roles.

But with players that are stronger and more specialized than ever, two things happen: Figuring out the work that's needed to unlock further performance gains become more difficult than ever, and with athletes pushing themselves to unprecedented levels of exertion, preventing injuries caused by overtraining or improper training is essential.

That's where the latest in sports science comes into play.

Companies are using everything from machine learning to three-dimensional biomechanical scanning to track the individual movements, strengths, and weaknesses of athletes. They're using that data to devise individual training plans that help coaches know when an athlete needs to take a break or when they need to adjust a workout to strengthen a player who might be susceptible to injury.


Tech Insider spoke with Stephen Smith, the founder and CEO of Kitman Labs, one of the specialized companies that's using research-supported new technology to optimize performance, in order to understand how the latest sports science can help athletes excel. They work with teams ranging from the NFL's Miami Dolphins to the English Premier League's Everton FC.

"Everybody is unique in how they respond to different stress and stimulus," so they can't all follow the exact same training programs, says Smith. Since every person responds to stresses differently, Kitman has designed both software and hardware that help develop ideal training programs for each individual.