Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies recently approached Gunner Technology to help them scope out an application that would be available on computers, smartphones and tablets that would assist in the training and tracking of the organization’s athletes.

Here is the application we came up with:

Project Overview

Overview

The Colorado Rockies need an application that will enable 360 tracking, recording and updating of strength, training, nutrition and overall health for their players.

The application will be available from desktop computers, tablet computers such as iPads and phones such as iPhone and Droid devices.

Problem or Pain

Currently, the Rockies are falling behind other MLB teams technologically — specifically in the areas of strength training and conditioning. Currently, the Rockies use paper to create, distribute and track their players’ offseason conditioning programs that is disconnected from other systems they use such as the Ballistic Measurement System and the Performance Force Plate.

Objectives & Goal

Gunner Technology will build an application to solve this problem from three perspectives:

Strength and Conditioning Staff: The strength and conditioning staff will use administrative tools inside the application to create personal programs for Rockies players. The main focus of the tools will be to create personalized workouts that include specific exercises with photos, videos and descriptions.

The tools need to have the flexibility for the staff to create different variables for each exercise, including sets, repetitions, duration effort and more.

Additionally, the staff needs to be able to be able to create nutrition plans and specific educational pieces such as articles and videos for each player.

The staff also will use the application to track and record players’ vitals such as hight, weight and other performance metrics.

Along with personalized material, the admins also need to curate, create and publish articles and videos into a general area available to all players.

Finally, the staff will use the application to monitor the players’ progress, performance and other such feedback to adjust the workouts as necessary.

Athletes: The players will use the application to consume the plans created from the staff. Each player will have their own personal “locker” where they can review exercises plans, record progress and journal their progress.

In practice, this means that a player would get an email alert whenever their plan is modified or something new is added to it. The player will use the application from the phone or tablet device while performing the

Additionally, the player will be able to record any additional information such as injuries, tiredness and uncertainties in a journal, which admins can review.

Administrative Staff: Rockies admins such as the General Manager need to be able to quickly and easily review players’ performance and statistics. They will have access to each player’s locker as well as graphs and charts to compare individual’s information as well as aggregate time-series data on the whole team.

Additional Information

The application will be a living application, meaning that many additions will be made to it, specifically with what third-party systems it integrates with in the future.

The overall goal will be to provide a one-stop hub for all metrics on all Rockies players. While we can’t predict how and if the third party systems will make their information available, we must make sure the application is built to be flexible enough the integrate such data in the future.

Technology

This will be an HTML5 application, meaning it will have several advantage over a Native Application (built specifically for a certain device).

Advantages
  • Device Agnostic – The application will work across all devices and will be future-proofed against specific device upgrades.
  • Bypass App Stores – The application will be freely available from web browsers, meaning it will not have to be downloaded from any app store and upgrades won’t require approval from Apple or any other entity
  • Cost – Because we are building a singular application capable of running on any device, we don’t have to develop multiple versions of the same application for each device. This cuts down on cost and timeline for delivery and upgrades.
Disadvantages

The main disadvantage to this approach is that certain device-specific features such as Push Notifications may not be available via HTML5. We can circumvent these limitations in many cases with alternate technologies. In the case of Push Notifications, we could use email or SMS messages.

On the backend, the application will use Ruby on Rails and Postgres to power the HTML5 frontend. The application will be served from cloud computing platform, Heroku, a Gunner Technology partner.

Heroku specializes in performance and ad-hoc scalability, allowing Gunner Technology to minimize hosting costs by only requiring needed resources without sacrificing performance.

Screens

Below are the various screen along with who has access for each screen in the application.

Sign In

If someone visits the application and is not signed in, they will be redirected to the sign in page, which prompts the visitor for the email and password associated with there account.

Roster Page

Admin/S&C Staff Only

For Rockies Conditioning and Administration staff, the roster page will be the default page reached after signing in. This page will list all Athletes who have been registered for the application, sorted alphabetically by last name with basic information such as height, weight, position, number and status (on track, missed last workout, etc)

Athlete Overview

Admin Staff/S&C Staff/Signed In Athlete Only

For athletes, this will be their default page reached after they sign in. Athletes will not be able to see screens owned by other athletes. For staff, this will be the page they arrive on when they click a players’ name from the roster page. The athlete overview page will present an overview of various information, statistics, measures and resources for the athlete. Some possibilities include:

  • Resource Videos and Articles (hand selected by staff)
  • Calendar for upcoming workouts and important dates
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Sample of various/featured meals and or supplements
  • Player measurements and data, in a My Data Tab, consisting of:
    • Height, Weight, Age, Status (injured, etc)
    • Photo
    • Last Journal Entry (for recording injuries and other miscellaneous feedback each day)
    • Vertical Jump, Squat/Deadlift, Snatch/Clean/Pull, Bench Press/Throw, shuttle time, etc
    • Graphs (increases, decreases in measurements and metrics, performance ranking compared with rest of team, etc)
    • Weights
    • Skinfolds
    • FMS scores
    • Nutrition and previous workout data

Each module will link to a dedicated screen which will display greater and more detailed information from the corresponding module.

Athlete Comparison

Admin and S&C Staff will have a screen that will allow them to compare two or more players. Using a form, the staff will be able to pick the players as well as the metric in which to compare. Upon submitting the form, the comparison tool will generate the appropriate chart (line, bar, pie, etc) for visual comparison.

For individual tracking, staff will be able to view the Athlete screens mentioned above, which will contain historical and current data for each player as well as leave comments on each exercise such as machine adjustment, comment to increase weight next time, etc.

Workout Plan Builder

S&C Staff will have access to a screen that will allow them to create workout plans for each player. S&C Staff will be able to include mandatory and suggested activities including: Warmups, drills, stretching routines, interval and sprints, agility tasks, plyometric tasks and strength building tasks.

Each Workout Plan will consist of:

  • A player
  • Duration (number of days)
  • Goals (Strength gain, weight loss, flexibility, injury prevention, etc)
  • Various workouts
  • An area for the player to record daily notes

Each Workout will consist of:

  • A player
  • A date (optionally time of day)
  • Various Exercises

Each exercise will consist of the following:

  • Name (Bench Press, Overhead Stretch, Shuttle Runs, Pushups)
  • Number of Sets
  • Counts per set (Reps, Hold Count, Number, Until Failure)
  • Super Setted With (optional)
  • Rest Between Sets
  • Photo Gallery (optional)
  • Video Demonstration (optional)
  • Examples: Trap Bar Deadlift 4 sets 15,10,6,6 reps; DB Side Lunge 3 sets 10,8,6 reps, DB Walking
    Calves 4 sets 12,10,8,8 reps, Single-arm Chest Press 4 sets 15,10,6,6 reps; Chin-ups 4 sets 15,10,6,6 reps

A Sample Workout Profile would include: Movement Prep, Dynamic Warm-up, Conditioning and Post Workout Routine.

Nutrition Plan Builder

S&C Staff will have access to a screen that will allow them to nutrition plans for each player.

Each Nutrition Plan will consist of:

  • A player
  • Number of days
  • Goal of the meal plan (Strength gain, weight loss, etc)
  • Various Meals
  • Supplement suggestions
  • An area for the player to record daily notes

Each meal will consist of the following:

  • Meal time (breakfast, lunch, dinner, 10 am, 3 pm, etc)
  • Nutrition Facts (600 calories, 30 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat, etc)
  • Various foods

Each food will consist of the following:

  • Name (Pizza, Pasta, Chicken)
  • Serving measure (grams, ounces, etc)
  • Number of servings
  • Nutrition Facts (600 calories, 30 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat, etc)

The athletes will use consume these plans and be able to log information such as water intake, fruit and vegetable consumption.

Notification Center

Staff will be able to use the application to send emails to the players, both individually or individually.

For example, if staff notices that an athlete has been missing workouts, the staff can notify them via the application. Similarly, if an athlete expresses negative signs or symptoms from the exercises in his journal, staff can reach out and get more information.

Additionally, the staff will be able to send emails to all players, perhaps to alert them to a new resource just posted to the application or other team-wide, must-know information.

Sleep Tracker

Each athlete will have tools that will allow them to input information about their sleep schedule including hour many hours, quality scale and overall feel, which S&C and Staff can review.

General Information

All Staff and athletes will have access to a general information screen. S&C will use a backend tool to publish and update information into this general information screen, which will be divided into the following sub-screens or tabs:

  • Introduction
  • Philosophy
  • Nutrition Overview
  • Supplements Overview
  • Food Label Example
  • Flexibility Overview
  • Running Overview
  • Warm-up Overview
  • Stretching Overview
  • Important Contact Information

Account Creation Page

All staff will have access to a page that allows them to create new user accounts. This page will allow them to create or edit an athlete’s information.

It will also allow staff to add a new staff member to the application.