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Improving Collegiate Athlete Performance: WHOOP on University of Tennessee Athletics

By Kristen Holmes

Improving Collegiate Athlete Performance: WHOOP on University of Tennessee Athletics

WHOOP to Be Worn by All University of Tennessee Athletes.

We are excited to announce that the University of Tennessee will be the first school to outfit its entire athletic department with WHOOP, in an effort to leverage our wearable technology to drive resilience and performance while also amplifying health and safety measures across student-athletes, coaching staff and administrative personnel upon their return to campus.

Safety, Resilience and Performance

As the Fall 2020 semester approaches, colleges and universities are faced with the difficult challenge of providing an exceptional academic and athletic experience, while simultaneously keeping students safe. WHOOP technology, by continuously monitoring physiological data, is uniquely positioned to arm students with the necessary insights into early warning signs and different indications when they may be getting sick, as well as resilience-building behavioral modifications that help drive prevention. We believe WHOOP is a strong partner to ensure students are given the best chance to participate and compete in a vibrant academic and athletic community.

The WHOOP team system.

Respiratory Rate and WHOOP Research

WHOOP is a Boston-based company grounded in science and research. We are the only consumer wearable with a third-party validated respiratory rate tracker that meets gold standard measurements, and we’ve made public our research on the value this metric can have. WHOOP is worn across industries, including by employees of the USDA to help those who cannot socially isolate. It is also now available to the entire PGA tour community, and LPGA as well, after a player monitoring his respiratory rate with WHOOP withdrew from a tournament for safety reasons. Consistent measurement of median respiratory rate (breaths per minute during sleep) with WHOOP can alert users to potentially meaningful changes going on in their body since it is a statistic that usually does not change much from night to night. This is especially important because an increase in respiratory rate may provide users with a leading indicator of illness even before the onset of symptoms.

The Resilient Athlete

WHOOP harnesses critical physiological data to educate the student-athlete’s decisions around sleep (quality, duration and regularity), workout and non-workout strain (cardiovascular load), and recovery (capacity to adapt to stimulus). The relationships between sleep, resting heart rate and heart rate variability to athletic and academic performance, as well as general well-being, are well documented, as is our powerful ability to drive behavioral modifications that accelerate and amplify performance outcomes:

A chart showing that after 4 months on WHOOP, collegiate athletes showed improvement in resting heart rate, HRV and sleep, and reported fewer injuries and less alcohol consumption and screen time before bed.

As a result, WHOOP is uniquely positioned to inform student-athlete decision making to facilitate optimal sleep performance and recovery, as well as promote overall health and wellness.


In addition to student-athlete behavior modification, WHOOP monitors long-term and short-term responses to exercise and quantifies the correlation between recovery and various metrics in performance, which can then be shared with coaches, athletic medicine and strength staff through a web-based portal that helps enable data-driven training decisions. This data provides the groundwork for the selection of exercise appropriateness and the facilitation of overall mental and physical readiness.

WHOOP is not a medical device, our products and services are not intended to diagnose COVID-19, the flu or any other disease, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.