December 14, 2017
by Scott Damman. December 5th marked a very important 1-year anniversary for the Assess2Perform business. Some of our early customers (2015-16) had a rough experience using the beta & V1 products, and this mirrored some rough internal issues we were having with the company partnership related to getting the job done.
December 5, 2016 was the official re-organization date of the Assess2Perform you see today. This was the date that 2 of the original 3 partners set out to execute the vision and the commitment we made to the sport performance market. I don't like unfinished business.
No doubt, from a reputation perspective we still fight some of the baggage that stemmed from the past. We had teams, coaches, and individuals who took a chance on the early A2P products, and while some had great experiences, others did not. The good news, this past year has been chock-full of significant product and customer experience improvements. Some of these are obvious, while other parts go deeper under-the-hood. To us, it is about getting it right.
This one is pretty obvious. The old A2P PRO app next to the new A2P Sport app, where the emphasis was a class-leading UI/UX that was designed for team training.
The THEN and NOW is important to note, as I want those interested in VBT & sport tech to understand the bumps Assess2Perform has been through, how the company has evolved, and how the company is trending.
As a retrospective of the past 12 months, here are the key improvement points related to you, whether you are an A2P customer or someone considering our sport tech:
Bar Sensei & Ballistic Ball specific
We now offer the V2 of both the Bar Sensei and Ballistic Ball, these improvements were not simply tweaks; rather, these were from the ground-up fresh approaches to make the A2P Sport products work better in your environment. The Bar Sensei went from a taller Velcro strapped attachment to a much more slender module using a rugged neoprene sleeve. Aside from the design, the battery life was improved by 60%. We have always honored free upgrade exchanges to our early customers.
The increased battery life means a Bar Sensei can stay on the barbell for a few training days. It goes into auto sleep if not used for 30 minutes, another battery saving feature.
In July we started selling the V2 Ballistic Ball. The nature of the Ball with Brains creates numerous development challenges, from industrial design to proper user compliance. One of the break-throughs was finding a durable material and manufacturing process that did not break under normal use conditions. We stepped it up with our V2 design and went with a Kevlar infused material from Europe, which improved durability, grip, and feel.
The 9 inch and 12 inch diameter versions of the V2 Ballistic Ball.
Moving into 2018
We will be making some product announcements in early 2018. This news will offer additional value to some of our existing customers, and will also round out the A2P Sport product offering. There are some software & reporting plans in the works as well, all around improving the customer experience. What I want you to know is, it is our job and responsibility to protect and improve your A2P investment.
State of the business
This is actually an important topic during a time of expansive growth in sport tech options. As a customer, you make an investment of your money and your time with any sport tech purchase. And during this time of many available options and questionable adoption, I will tell you to not be surprised if some of them end up out of the business or the product you invested in.
Assess2Perform is sticking around. I love this business. In fact, after mini-careers in communications and medical/surgical, human performance tech has been the career that inspires me. This comes from a combination of the coaches, athletes, and academics I interact with and learn from, the satisfaction of creating value for someone's passion, and the challenge to keep forging ahead to the next frontier. Financially, we run on a conservative budget and sit in a good place today. Boot-straping is what we call it out West. We have no outside investment to date, and therefore are not reliant or held by outside shareholders.
A2P's contribution to the field
What we are not. Assess2Perform is not here to be another sport tech product with a sole focus of profit. We are not into any gimmicks, hired "guru" associations, or any useless noise or blur.
What we are. A2P is here to drive thought, offer solutions, and lead with sport tech innovation that is meaningful to athletic development outcomes. If you take the time to see what we offer, learn what we have developed, and the reasons for it, you will understand A2P.
I came into this field to understand what matters and design a logical product package that offered some answers. Make things better. As my friend and business mentor Gary Jones (Inventor & Founder of Hammer Strength) has beaten into me, "the Wright brothers didn't invent a 747". That statement resonates with me, and Coach, it should resonate with you.
Let's get a bit more solution specific. Take the example of VBT feedback of a dynamic squat. Full range of motion PK or AVG concentric values are the norm, but old; and I would argue these legacy metrics have a lot of holes related to relevance and transfer. What about the eccentric side? What about RFD? What about how you turn a load around? Measurements that Matter. Coaches, I know most of you understand RFD and it's importance related to transfer, it is discussed, why is it not measured? I have read accounts of RFD "improvements" being justified by AVG speed increases...???
The Bar Sensei metric POP-100 (pk speed at the 100 millisecond point of the concentric phase) is very interesting, and applies to concentric explosiveness / starting strength, amortization, and fatigue management. And, ATHLETICISM I bet.
Here is my point. The Bar Sensei did not arrive to offer full ROM Peak and AVG dynamic squat values. The Bar Sensei arrived to look at the dynamics of a dynamic squat -- how you load eccentrically, turn that load around, and accelerate. The metrics we offer today to look at this include the legacy stuff, but also POP-100 and eccentric speed, force, and power.
The Ballistic Ball arrived to see how the athlete can put it all together -- Coordinated Power. Okay, so you are strong & powerful in the rack, now take the 5 KG Ballistic Ball and show me if you can express that power with a triple extension med ball throw.
Wrap it up
Coaches, let's make sure your VBT sport tech investment of money and time gets directed to meaningful metrics, while assessing movements that matter. It's an exciting time to expand our training education and apply some basic, time efficient, and meaningful sport tech. Basic. Time efficient. Meaningful.