For episode 57 we're exploring the dynamic world of sports science at the crossroads of technology with Emmy award-winning writer and the author of "Unplugged," Phil White.
In this podcast we're talking about the connections between mindfulness and technology when it comes to breathing, eating, moving, sleeping, and exercising including the relationship of health club and fitness facilities and devices.
We also learn from Phil about the importance of what he calls having a "white belt mentality" when it comes to both fitness and technology, and why he believes that technology's best use case in fitness is to identify a movement fault that is potentially harmful to a client, know what the correct solution is, and to have the client implement that solution.
For successful coaches and trainers, we uncover why fitness technology must only be a tool in a professional's toolbox to help inform, educate, and increase self-awareness to get a client to a place where they are actually independent and no longer need that technology.
When it comes to sports science being fueled by technology, what are the real game changers and the most important aspects of consciously applied devices and software to truly support and uplift the human inside and outside the club?
The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Phil white.
About The Book: Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance, & Consciousness
In the first quarter of 2016, Americans bought 19.7 million fitness wearables, an increase of 67 percent over the previous year. By 2020, the global market for fitness-focused apps and devices is expected to grow to $30 billion. This means that more than ever, we’re looking at our wrists not only to check the time, but also to see how much we’ve moved, monitor our heart rate, and see how we’re stacking up against yesterday’s tallies.
As a result of our fitness tech addiction, we’ve lost awareness of what we’re doing, how we’re feeling, and what’s going on around us. This is bad enough in the gym, but when we get outside, the constant checking of a tiny screen truly wreaks havoc, downgrading what should be a rich experience into yet another task we need to complete to meet our daily goals. And if we fall short, we feel inadequate. There’s also the issue of data inaccuracy, with many device makers now admitting that their gadgets provide only estimates. So why do we continue to obsess over data and treat it as gospel truth?
It’s time to stop, take a breath, and hit the reset button in a big way. Unplugged provides a blueprint for using technology to meet your health and performance goals in a much smarter way, while reconnecting to your instincts and the natural world. In addition to sharing the performance expertise of Brian Mackenzie and the scientific insight of Dr. Andy Galpin, Unplugged features exclusive stories and advice from elite athletes and world-renowned experts like Laird Hamilton, Tim Ferriss, Kai Lenny, Kelly Starrett, Steven Kotler, Erin Cafaro, Lenny Wiersma, Dr. Frank Merritt, and Brandon Rager.
Phil White is an Emmy-nominated writer who frequently contributes to The Inertia, SUP the Mag and Canoe & Kayak. He is the co-author, with Dr. Kelly Starrett, of the forthcoming books Flight Plan and Waterman 2.0, and is also collaborating on Game Changer with University of Michigan football performance director Dr. Fergus Connolly and Bridging the Gap with Sue Falsone, the first female athletic head trainer in Major League sports. His other books include Whistle Stop, which Larry King said, “I can’t put down,” and Our Supreme Task, which The Times Literary Supplement called “Illuminating.”
As the rewards for winning have increased, it’s no surprise that sports team budgets have followed suit. Sure, the athletic program at the University of Texas brought in $161 million last year, but the Longhorns also spent $154 million over the same period. Fifteen other college athletics program also racked up over $100 million in annual expenses. But that’s child’s play compared to the outgoings at the world’s most valuable soccer team, Manchester United, which spent more than $500 million in 2015.
The trouble is that all this spending often fails to yield better results. Teams in all sports have tried just about every gimmick to “hack” their way to better performance. But as they’ve gotten stuck in stats, mired in backroom politics, and diverted by the facilities arms race, many have lost sight of what should’ve been their primary focus all along: the game itself.
In Game Changer, Fergus Connolly shows how to improve performance with evidence-based analysis and athlete-focused training. Through his unprecedented experiences with teams in professional football, basketball, rugby, soccer, Aussie Rules, and Gaelic football, as well as with elite military units, Connolly has discovered how to break down the common elements in all sports to their basic components so that each moment of any game can be better analyzed, whether you’re a player or a coach. The lessons of game day then can be used to create valuable learning experiences in training, evaluate the quality of your team’s performance, and home in on what’s working and what isn’t.
Game Changer also shows you how to expand training focus from players' physical qualities to also advance athletes technically, tactically, and psychologically. His TTPP Model not only helps players continually progress but also stops treating them like a disposable commodity and instead prioritizes athlete health.
"It's not enough to have quantitative analysis through a fitness device unless you are putting it into a behavioral and environmental context." - Phil White on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Technology's best use case in fitness is to identify a movement fault that is potentially harmful to a client, know what the correct solution is, and then have the client implement that solution. For best success, you use fitness technology only as a tool in your toolbox to help inform, educate, and increase self-awareness to get your client to a place where they are independent and no longer need that technology." - Phil White on the Fitness + Technology Podcast