Some of the most important sports performances of 2021 took place in privatebut not out of sight of the sensors and cameras that adorn wearable devices, smartphones, and connected fitness devices that have proliferated in living rooms, garages, bedrooms, and wherever there is space and will. .

Brands and startups have continued to flood the market and homes with machines, gadgets, apps, and apparel that have not only helped fitness enthusiasts lead convenient, sociallydistancet workouts but allowed them to do it with comments, either through an AI coach, a gamified competition, a skeletal avatar or a data point.

The democratization of fitness and technology has proliferated in many areas, ranging from better counseling for female athletes, better mental health support for youth and varsity athletes, sophisticated training instructions. speed and a more interactive experience on the bowling alleys.

As well to note in SportTechie’s coverage of athlete performance over the past year: cutting edge genetic testing for injury prevention, NFL-led efforts to improve head health, and a performance coach’s remarkable achievement for a professional baseball season without injury.

Here is a summary of the more interesting and important stories about the performance of athletes who SportTechie covered in 2021:

Steph Curry, here after breaking the all-time NBA 3-point shooting record, is among the elite athletes invested in Tonal.

* Connected Home Fitness

James lebron joined Serena Williams, Stephen Curry and Drew Brees as an investor in Tonal. Usain Bolt, Allyson Felix, Andre De Grasse and Angelique Kerber have all become Peloton Ambassadors. Colin Kaepernick is advisor and spokesperson for Egatta. Dak Prescott and Dr James Andrews invested in OxeFit. Aaron Rodgers invested in Hydrow. Shaquille O’neal supported Maxpro.

Jay Z, Novak Djokovic and Odell Beckham Jr. put money in CLMBR. Jay Z has also partnered with Adrian Gonzalez to invest in LIT method. John Tavares and Jordan Clarkson are among the main faces of Lululemon, who owns the mirror. Slinger bag Tommy Haas added. Combat Camp has financial support from Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather.

Covid, of course, has accelerated consumer demand for connected fitness products, and brands have rushed to align themselves with star investors and ambassadors to claim what has quickly become a crowded market. New businesses such as Flexit, Krew, Liteboxer and many others are mobilizing investments and starting to reach the masses.

Peloton is best known for its bicycle but was to add gamified fitness programs and a bodybuilding product while developing a cellphone heart rate monitor. Tonal released live workouts with real-time data feedback. Helping more users exercise with proper technique is a connected coaching company Asensei, who published (application)arel and (application)openingsmart clothing and computer vision technologies, which power its AI coaching engine. These are just a sampling of the new features hitting the market in a category that is likely to gain even more attention during the winter months with the new Omicron variant in circulation.

* All you need is a smartphone

Mustard and ProPlayAI provide a biomechanical analysis of baseball from a smartphone. SportsBox AI can now do it for golf. SwingVision provides a wide range of tennis ball and player tracking data, just like Reception courtyard can do with basketball. Football apps such as Chelsea FC’s perfect game and Balln supported by Kevin De Bruyne analyze the training of players, while Gloria and Tonsser help with scouting. Applications like Physimax can project injuries, all from the camera that is already in everyone’s pocket.

* Baseball season without injury

The long drawn out season of professional baseball makes it a sport of wear and tear. Muscle, tendon and ligament injuries are common, especially in pitchers. Yesand, under the fouryear of stewardship of performance coach Gary McCoy, The Chinatrust Brothers of Taiwan reduced their soft tissue injuries from an average of 32 per year to zero in 2019.

*Injury genetics

Some athletes always have been more prone to injury than others, but there is now research that identifies genetics as an underlying condition that explains why. Stuart Kim, a former professor of genetics at Stanford, has identified specific genetic markers that indicate who is prone to certain types of injuries – stress fractures, ACL tears, and concussions, among them – and started AxeGen To do these such tests available to athletes.

* Women’s health

The differences between female and male physiology are deeper than most have thought. What was once a neglected area of ​​research is finally developing, with companies using wearable devices, biomarkers, and data science, such as Orreco, Oura and Whoop—All emphasis on this goal of helping women train more effectively and efficiently.

*Mental Health

Arguably the # 1 story in mainstream sports this year was athlete mental health, with the withdrawals from Grand Slam tennis tournaments and the Tokyo Olympics by Naomi Osaka and Simone headlining. Biles, respectively. This has shined a spotlight on the need for better support at all levels of sport, and two entrepreneurs—Ivan Chatchouwo of the area and Annie Flamsteed of InspireTek– are among those who have created applications to help college athletes and young people.

* Speed ​​can be taught

Not everyone will go fast, but just about everyone can go faster. This is a key message behind the Universal speed rating, a ranking and training platform developed by elite speed trainer Les Spellman in collaboration with a number of other experts such as the French professor of biomechanics JB Morin.

Speed ​​trainer and innovator Les Spellman uses universal speed rating algorithms to coax his athletes through three stages of a sprint: the “Explosive Freak” section, the “Speed ​​Shift” section and the “ Breakaway Speed ​​”.

Speed ​​trainer and innovator Les Spellman uses universal speed rating algorithms to coax his athletes through three stages of a sprint: the “Explosive Freak” section, the “Speed ​​Shift” section and the “ Breakaway Speed ​​”.

* NFL head health

Head health doesn’t regularly dominate the NFL headlines like it once did, although Phillip Adams’ CTE forensic analysis is a shocking reminder of the impact the sport has on some of the men who play it. Overall, the league has made progress in becoming safer – concussions are down 24% in the past three years compared to the previous three years – and more methods based on technology and data are in the pipeline. Classes.

The NFL has grown its mouthguard sensor program to collect more head strike data to help inform future rule and equipment changes, such as the creation of the first position-specific helmet for linemen. The league also completed its recent $ 3 Million Helmet Challenge and continues to work with Amazon Web Services on various health and safety measures, including the creation of a composite digital athlete used in testing.

Tiger's Tech was the Full Swing KIT launch monitor that helped speed up their comeback after a car crash.

Tiger’s Tech was the Full Swing KIT launch monitor that helped speed up their comeback after a car crash.

* Big names, big wins

Even the best athletes in the world realize a little bit of technologynology goes a long way. Tiger Woods, whose right leg was nearly amputated in a horrific car crash in February, was back blowing up the golF balls by December with the help of a Full Swing KIT launch monitor in which he invested and then provided a plan for. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had a botched first two seasons in the NFL until he looked into 3D motion capture, courtesy of The Biometrek Company, to bring his throwing mechanics to an MVP level. The University of Iowa, meanwhile, has recruited a quarterback robot., otherwise known as Monarc ” The searcher, ” who helped turn kick catcher / returner Charlie Jones into the Big Ten’s first back man. Everyone is looking for an advantage.