• Colin Rickard

Why Sports Data changed my life

Updated: Jan 17

Getting a focus on my own performance data has transformed my personal relationship with sport. It’s shifted me from engaged fan (Spurs, Cricket) to engaged participant.

So why did data work for me (and many others) when I know (I’ve seen the data) that so many of us join a gym and then return to our old ways in just a month or so? In three words:

Relevant. Mobile. Instant.

Google gives us answers we crave, Facebook (or is it Meta!) fills our streams with stuff that’s most likely to appeal to us. We expect personalisation. We expect any place, any time access. We expect instant answers. Results?

Our expectations for personalisation, access, and speed have changed the game for sports leaders who want to release genuine value from data.

The genius of the likes of Strava is that it's always relevant. Always instant feedback. Always anytime & place. In my day job I see how relevant and mobile access to data can transform whole sports and clubs.

If, at a single tap, an individual can see the data that matters to them, then they engage. If they can interact then they embrace regular use. If feedback is instant (post activity) then it's far more effective. If the data is spread over many logins and systems, they don’t use it. We lose interest in stuff that’s a faff.

For sports leaders the opportunities are huge. Taking all the data feeds that are available to your club or sport and using these to create super personalised single point, and mobile, access for each of your different audiences is incredibly motivating. Because it’s relevant, instant. What do players need? What do scouts need? What do coaches need? What to grassroots leaders need?

Just owning lots of individually great data sets doesn’t optimise performance, participation, and engagement.

Thanks to Damian Smith, Giles Lindsay, Mo Bobat, Kitty Stuart, Kevin Shine, Eoin Bradford, Alan Cox, Pippa Rickard (to name but a few) who have inspired me on my personal weight loss & fitness journey.

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