The Story of PUSH Vital
Founded in 1946 and having won 5 Super Bowls, the San Francisco 49ers are one of the most historically successful teams in the NFL. Their organization has developed some of the sport's most iconic players - Jerry Rice and Joe Montana to name two – and they continue to pursue excellence. In their pursuit of success Mark Uyeyama, the 49ers’ director of human performance, contacted PUSH to design a sport technology solution for one of the biggest challenges their organization faced.
The Challenge: How to non-invasively measure an athlete’s daily recovery and readiness to train
With the 2016 season preparation ongoing, the San Francisco 49ers wanted to put in place a system that could monitor and track the health of each player.
The daily demands on an athlete are high, and the ability to quantify fatigue would offer far reaching benefits. Recovery data has implications in enabling proactive intervention strategies to validate training programs. A system that measured fatigue would be integral in creating a well-balanced training schedule.
There were numerous options available that could measure an athlete’s readiness; the challenge lay in finding a non-invasive system that fit into their day-to-day. Alternative solutions require 24/7 monitoring devices and even urine samples, but are met with heavy resistance from athletes.
The 49ers asked PUSH to design a solution that could not only monitor readiness, but do so in a way that non-invasively fit into an athlete’s daily routine.
The Solution: PUSH Vital
“We see great value in the metrics that PUSH technology is able to provide in the management of our training process. Through our collaboration with PUSH, we have developed a series of useful checks and balances that allow us to validate our planning."
- Mark Uyeama, Director of Human Performance
We developed PUSH Vital as the ultimate all-in-one athlete readiness assessment for the San Francisco 49ers. In less than 4 minutes this system measures an athlete’s HRV score, their subjective readiness, and performs a medical-grade weigh in.
Combining these three important metrics into one test provides the 49ers with the information they needed to balance their training plans. To maximize the data collected, results are instantly sent to anyone who needs to stay connected. Players can see the effects of their training efforts, and coaches can quantify how a player is feeling. PUSH Vital displays this information through its own dashboard, but to maintain convenience it can integrate with any api.
Implemented and tested in the off season, PUSH Vital has become an integral part of the 49ers daily scheduling. The simplicity, ease of use, and relevance of information has proved to be a cornerstone for their scheduling processes. Unlike Chip Kelly’s previous attempts of athlete monitoring, the players are buying-into PUSH Vital. Here's what they have to say:
“What we have going on right now, it has a hold on how your body is feeling… There are multiple eyes looking at the assessment of your body and honing in on if you need to take a break or you’re taking too many reps -- whatever the case may be to keep you healthy.”
– #41 Antoine Bethea
The Next Step: Zebra integrated data dashboards
“We get email push notifications every day to monitor it, how many yards you’re running on the field. What’s your top speed? We turn it into a competition.”
- #89 Vance McDonald
PUSH Vital was the athlete readiness solution that the San Francisco 49ers needed. But, the monitoring of an athlete’s performance doesn’t end when they step on the field.
The NFL recently saw the introduction of a new player tracking system called Zebra. An RFID chip attached to the player’s shoulder pads is able to track speed, explosiveness, and distance travelled during practices or games.
The data collected by Zebra is invaluable and used by the team every day. PUSH accommodated this including Zebra integration to the Vital dashboard.
With Zebra integration, the PUSH Vital dashboard is able to give a 360 view on an athlete’s health, wellness, and performance. The PUSH Vital dashboard evolved to provide the 49ers with a complete athlete overview.
“We compare who ran the most and who had the top speed. It shows how often you’re working at your hardest, how many explosive efforts you had, how many cuts you had. We all compare it to each other.”
- #88 Garrett Celek