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Navigating the Intersection of Technology and Softball Athlete Development: Insights from Dr. Laura McDonald at OGX.

You’ve heard Ashley and I talk A LOT about technology and softball and specifically related to understanding biomechanics, if you’ve been listening to Redefine the Circle over the last few episodes. We integrate technology and use data judiciously at OGX so I thought I’d give a little insight into what that actually means.

Every piece of technology has trade-offs. That might mean that while a device or app is easy to use at the field, it might sacrifice accuracy or reliability to make the technology portable, small, with a long-lasting battery. One of the most important things we consider with integrating technology at OGX is weighing what it adds to our assessment procedures and athlete monitoring systems (time or fatigue, for example) against whether the information effectively informs coaching decisions. If the information is not easy to communicate to our athletes because it is not clear how it fits their story, it’s difficult to justify collecting it. Investment in training and performance technology is expensive and we want to go into that investment very clear on how we will utilize it.

All that data has to go somewhere. Any information that is collected about an athlete here at OGX is information utilized. We have built a robust system that can not only tell a player their current pitching or hitting story, but also one that provides comprehensive athlete monitoring over the course of the entire year. While I’m a big fan of our assessment process, the truest version of an athlete’s story is a book with hundreds of chapters, not just a prologue. Knowing how to maximize yourself during the offseason, prepare yourself in preseason, and then manage yourself in-season is the complete package of player development. There’s some new things on the horizon here at OGX that mean better access, better insights, and a better understanding of how your chapters unfold. I am incredibly proud of this work because it has brought to life what we truly do: put the athlete at the center of her own story and arm her with information to bet on herself. This work started with coaches asking questions and not being content with just guessing on the answer. It will continue to evolve with each athlete who trains with us, each coach who consults with us, and each parent who seeks us for education.