Sports in the 21st century
400 UVic athletes use the app Teambuildr to receive personalized workouts, record their training progress, and prepare for competition.
Last year, Nick Clarke joined the UVic Vikes as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach. The first thing that he did was implement Teambuildr.
“In Teambuildr,” Clarke said, “I can write a program and send it out to all [the athletes] at once … but we can also track essentially everything. We can monitor from attendance to compliance. We can also monitor load, how much they actually lift each session. We can look at how they are progressing in each exercise over time.”
Alex Sawyers, assistant captain of the Men’s Rowing team, said that using Teambuildr gives him more confidence in competition.
“I can look back at my last two years [of workouts in Teambuildr] and see how much I’ve progressed,” said Sawyers. “Walking into competition, the confidence that that gives you is big. I [think] ‘wow my leg press has increased exponentially, I one hundred percent can row harder and row faster now’.”
Sawyers says that before Teambuildr, the strength and conditioning program was run by volunteers and kinesiology students.
“We were all sort of used to getting [a workout] written on the whiteboard and going through our sets and tossing whatever weight we felt like doing,” said Sawyers. “[We] changed from thinking ‘we’re just gonna come into the gym and have some fun’ to ‘this [time] is now beneficial to our varsity sports.’”
Hewitt Tomlin, Teambuildr’s CEO and Co-Founder, played quarterback for Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and said he was using piles of spreadsheets to track his workouts. “Not only that,” Tomlin said, “but my training program was almost identical to my defensive linemen … that’s what piqued [my] interest.”
Tomlin said that he spoke with coaches and found the only thing preventing them from creating specific workouts was the lack of time. “Our goal,” said Tomlin, “was to make Teambuildr a way for [a] coach to write a training program … without taking too much of their time.”
UVic joins a large number of high school, university and professional sports programs that use Teambuildr. Their clients include various American and international sport teams including the Los Angeles Kings, Houston Astros, Oklahoma City Thunder and Arsenal FC.
“Our biggest point of pride,” Tomlin said, “is that we sell the same product at the same price to the Golden State Warriors as we do to a small rural school in the midwest in America … There is this job function that is similar across levels of competition and we can help that job function at the same price point for everyone.”