WHOOP and MLB Conduct Largest Performance Study Ever in Pro Sports
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – December 7, 2016 – WHOOP, the human performance optimization company, today announced the results of a performance study involving minor league players from nine Major League Baseball (MLB) organizations. The landmark study, which was conducted with 230 minor league players from June – November, 2016, was designed to monitor the relationship between physiological status and performance, using quantifiable data capturing physiological stress on professional athletes (Strain), and the body’s preparedness for stress (Recovery). It is the first study of its kind in professional sports in the United States. The results were presented to the medical and strength and conditioning staffs from all MLB organizations at the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland, at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
“I’m impressed with Major League Baseball’s commitment to innovation and their data-driven approach to understanding the rigors of the professional season. The initial findings of this study confirm the need for continuous physiological monitoring in professional sports, including in-game monitoring to improve player health and safety,” said Will Ahmed, WHOOP Founder and CEO. “By conducting the largest performance study ever in any U.S. professional sports league, WHOOP has set the foundation for future research that will empower baseball organizations to think differently about the traditional constructs of the game related to managing rosters, lineups and pitching rotations. The teams that embrace this culture of performance-enhancing data will have a distinct advantage.”
“We believe a number of factors affect player recovery, from travel schedules to sleep quality and stress levels from workouts and games. We partnered with WHOOP to better understand athlete recovery and to help the athlete understand the recovery process. We are excited about the potential for this technology to decrease injuries and enhance player performance,” Orioles Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said.
“We have been very encouraged by the early feedback from our players and staff who have used WHOOP this season. One of our biggest priorities is to help our athletes manage healthy and long-last careers and we believe that working with WHOOP will help advance that goal,” added Braves Director of Player Health & Performance Andrew Hauser.
Overall, the study results suggest positive evidence of the benefits and potential of physiological monitoring technology to maximize performance in athletes, including:• Correlations Between Age, Sleep and Recovery Levels WHOOP zeroed in on determining the exact relationship between Recovery metrics and age by analyzing heart rate (HR) and Heart rate variability (HRV) metrics.• Relationship Between Recovery and Performance Levels WHOOP found evidence that suggested a positive relationship between Recovery levels in athletes and higher fastball velocity and exit speed off the bat.
In order to participate, MLB clubs agreed to outfit their MiLB players with a WHOOP Strap, a lightweight, waterproof and screenless design that’s worn on the wrist or forearm, and automatically measures and analyzes an athlete’s Strain, Recovery and Sleep. When paired with the WHOOP Strap, the WHOOP mobile and web app provides physiological data, analysis and actionable recommendations that help athletes and coaches tailor their training, improve their sleep and maximize performance.
Five key metrics were measured more than 100 times per second with the WHOOP Strap, including:• Heart rate• Heart rate variability (HRV)• Ambient temperature• Motion and Movement• Skin Response