Call for change

Delivering the best prepared athletes to the start line

Athletic performance continues to improve with elite teams harnessing technology to train smarter, analysing every inch of an athlete’s physical performance and training.

Triathlon as a sport is abundant in physiological data. However, “often the bit that doesn’t necessarily always get measured is the human element of it" says Ian Pyper Head of Performance Science Services, British Triathlon. The ambition of British Triathlon, the governing body of Triathlon in the UK, is to have the best prepared athletes on the start line at races and competitions.

The next frontier for making small but vital gains above competitors is better understanding the impact of state of mind on performance. So they collaborated with Accenture to pioneer a technological solution to this challenge.

"Triathlon as a sport is heavily rich in data. Often the bit that doesn’t necessarily always get measured is the human element of it".

— Ian Pyper, Head of Performance Science Services, British Triathlon

When tech meets human ingenuity

Integrating cutting edge technologies to analyse performance

Working in collaboration with British Triathlon, Accenture applied its innovative thinking and the latest technologies to create the Athlete Genome. A cloud-based tool, the Athlete Genome uses artificial intelligence and machine learning alongside wearable technology to interpret cognitive data and integrate it with performance data.

Athletes’ physical data is recorded on TrainingPeaks via wearables and sports equipment. After the session, the athlete logs into the Athlete Genome and records audio reflecting on their training; the tool evaluates their reflection, applying psycholinguistic science to identify emotions and determine the athlete’s mood and outlook at the time. It then maps this insight against their physical outputs from each training session, providing a visualisation of the relationship.

A valuable difference

A hyper-personalised performance tool for athletes and coaches

An industry first, the Athlete Genome provides a hyper-personalised analysis of the relationship between an athlete’s mindset and their physical performance. This gives triathletes and their coaches tailored insight into the psychological factors and triggers for achieving optimal results on the track and on all-important race days.

The potential for this innovation is significant, with possibilities beyond the world of sport. The team is already working with a leading healthcare charity to adapt and apply the sentiment analysis solution, helping it quickly identify significant changes in the cognitive state of its most vulnerable service users across a large and geographically dispersed population. This will help the charity to better prioritise the use of limited resources.

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