No-Holds Barred Interview with Carl Valle
- Sport Psychology- The “soft science” is the strongest variable because it’s about dealing with the human element of emotion and behavior. One can argue it’s about connecting but I think it’s about placing the athlete in a mind state of doing what it takes to succeed with conscious decisions. Coaches should be aware of the three Ps, personalities, perspectives, and what has worked in the past. Motivation is also a part here, and tapping into the athlete’s goals is about bridging behavior to belief.
- Education- Another three letter approach using the three Vs in monitoring or athlete education in general. Explaining just enough information, be it verbal (dialogue) or visual (infographics) is extremely helpful to get the athlete to value the data. Talking about parasympathetic changes or wattage in jumps is not the language of athletes (although they are evolving fast thanks to the internet) but the use of creative analogies and layman’s terms is helpful here. Numbers are ok as well, since solid objective feedback of the clock, the bar, and the tape all ensure the athletes know what is going on.
- Salesmanship- Having athletes buy in requires coaching marketing and campaigning a cultural reset. Sales is easy when you love what you are doing. If monitoring is a pain to the coach, no way is the athlete going to leave feeling positive either. If you don’t use the data or don’t demonstrate
- Trust- A combination of experience, history of results, knowledge, and the coaching relationship determines everything. Athletes want to know your motives because caring is hard acquire in large group situations. You can claim to care when you barely know names or spend time with someone. Sharing your motivation for helping them gives the athlete a perspective to how much effort you plan to invest in and what your limits are. Is the coach in it for the passion and art or financial reward and ego?
- MyoAnalytics (Tensiomyography and myoton metrics) – This data is more fleeting and variable and can be used to do preseason screening and monitoring of manual therapy and training interventions. Also combined with Player tracking data and motion capture, a real profile of athletes can be made. Movement signatures with force plates or accelerometers is like painting with a wide brush for houses and trying to do a portrait. One high profile team is including military grade thermography surveillance cameras as early warning tools and then validate with muscle diagnostics. When patterns calibrated by research and estimated coefficients are added, the early warning system alarms or tags the event.
- Pressure Mapping (In-shoe and barefoot)- Injuries from the plantar fascia to lower back can be linked to ground reaction forces that may not a good fit with the athlete. Remember athletes are now over-competed and under prepared, a death sentence coaches and medical teams are trying to manage. Asymmetries can be absorbed from the amazing nervous systems of athletes, but the workhorses are muscles that may not have enough ability to handle rapid eccentric forces. Pressure mapping alone has merit, but sEMG and motion capture connects the dots. If you look a professional soccer they are on a runaway train to imploding with higher outputs of both speed and conditioning, and small problems may be fine driving around a lazy Sunday to church, but on the autobahn going 180 kilometers per hour, alignment issues are sometimes exponentially problematic. One example of this is an athlete that had one foot injured as a child with morphological and structural changes that caused him to drift 10% while sprinting. For every ten meters he veered a meter. As he got faster he experienced muscle strains and had him get pressure mapped and the COP trajectory of foot strike was radically different and this caused the drift each step. Combined with the analytics run on his fiber testing and jump tests, his fatigue pattern didn’t create a solid buffer zone. The patterns of muscle status cross validated the predicted patterns from EMG and motion capture, and the pressure mapping identified the potential cause.
- I would like to see MOXY or a similar product used during speed tests and player tracking devices more in order to see how offensive linemen and defensive linemen fatigue specifically in American football. GPS and accelerometer data is like Jackson Pollock paintings, it’s popular and people believe they interpreted it right but I question the value of it’s use. We need more muscle fatigue information with sEMG and other data to see what is going on in the trenches. Also, let’s see how well those breathing “workouts” are transferring between reps and between sessions. Certainly we should se some changes in recovery that is showing up somewhere.
- As for the CML device I want to see it cross-validated with CNS testing from Omegawave and have both compared to some intensive analysis. While central fatigue and the peripheral fatigue are different, both have the same general purpose of seeing nervous system fatigue interact with performance incompetence and injury from fatigue. I love jumping tests but can’t do them daily so we want a passive way to look at general explosive ability status of the body. Perhaps some field tests mixed with some non-voluntary testing as well as POMS like scores can show what is more precise, assuming both are valid and reliable.