Mustangs gallop into sports-data revolution

Sports have moved beyond the field, court and rink in a lot of ways as big data has become the big play in understanding player performance.

Last fall, Mustangs Athletics joined the sport information revolution by introducing a new online platform – Kinduct Athletic Management System – that enables coaches to turn loads of performance data into actionable insights for student-athletes.

Kinduct is an athletic data and analytics software provider that uses a cloud-based platform to track human performance, health and wellness.

“The platform consolidates data empowering us to make informed decisions that save time and optimize results,” said Jeff Watson, Strength and Conditioning Coach for 38 Mustangs teams. “The ability to communicate player status and make the necessary training program adjustments has allowed us to individualize their workouts to allow them to keep making progress.”

By signing onto their phones or laptops, student-athletes can log workouts and track results, he added. “They can take ownership of the process.”

The Halifax-based company has impressive client list of professional organizations including the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings, Hockey Canada and U.S. Gymnastics.

Watson said Kinduct has exponentially increased his ability to centre programming around student-athletes, with 1,100 currently being providing at-home strength and conditioning workouts.

Watson just released his second three-week block of programming, featuring a combination of body-weight exercises, as the majority of student-athletes don’t currently have access equipment on campus.

“We do have some athletes who have created their own unique basement and backyard training facilities,” he said. “We have provided them with imaginative methods: backpacks full of books, topsoil bags, laundry detergent containers or towels on slippery floors. There are many things around the house that can be repurposed as training tools.”

Watson now looks to create a model allowing real-time communication between athletes, coaches, sports medicine personnel, administrators and strength and conditioning staff.

Western Women’s Hockey Coach Candice Moxley said her team is still in the early stages of using Kinduct, but she already sees its potential.

“It is a direct link from our medical staff to our strength and conditioning coaches. They can adapt and modify workouts based on injuries,” she said. “Players are still getting the training and attention that they need to succeed. Our team is still scratching the surface when it comes to the app’s capabilities. I am excited to see what else we can do with it.”

For a coach or sports medicine team member, the system uses a team dashboard where they can access information about each athlete. At a glance, they can see if the athlete has completed tasks assigned to them or, more importantly, check their current health status.

“Simple red, yellow or green check marks indicate whether the athlete is able or unable to participate in practice or games,” Watson said. “Student-athlete health and wellness is a priority.”

Watson said Fall 2020 recruits are already connected into the system and have been provided with programming and training information.

“With questions around returning to play after the COVID-19 pandemic, coaches need to understand that athletes will need to be progressively ramped up in their intensity and duration of activities in order not to sustain injuries,” Watson said. “Athletes will have to understand that they are also responsible to keep themselves in a healthy and well-conditioned state. This tool will help that happen.”