Bracelet Tells All

June 28, 2017

Athletic trainers and coaches at West Virginia University have a new tool to keep track of student-athletes. Mike Joseph, WVU director of strength and conditioning, has added wristband monitors as an option for the Mountaineers, according to The Exponent Telegram.

“Basically it’s a system that monitors your heart rate, your sleep, how much strain you’re putting on your body,” Kyle Bosch, senior offensive lineman, told The Exponent Telegram. “It’s a smart way for the coaches, the staff, and the players to see what the actual numbers are when it comes to performance, sleep, all the intangibles that make you a better athlete.”

The monitoring system used by the Mountaineers is called WHOOP, which measures physiological markers automatically. The monitor’s results, which include exertion and recovery information, are available for access on a smartphone.

Using WHOOP is optional for the student-athletes due to the amount of personal information that is available through the device. That said, most of them opted to try it out.

“Right when we got these bands, right when we got this new program, they said, ‘Anyone that doesn’t feel comfortable doing this, you can hand it back in and we’ll give it to the next guy that wants it,’” Bosch said. “Obviously none of us wanted to do that because we’re all committed to trying to win the Big 12, to trying to make it to the College Football Playoff, so we’re all taking this offseason very seriously. Monitoring everything we do, everything we eat, and every time we fall asleep.”

Although WHOOP is relatively new for the Mountaineers, its use is spreading through athletic programs. One of the driving factors in its use to help student-athletes avoid overtraining and keep track of recovery.

“[Mike Joseph] and his staff do a really good job of implementing new techniques that he learns from around the country,” Bosch said. “They go to clinics every year, and they find new techniques that have a lot of critical backing, and if they don’t have critical backing, then they’re not going to do it. There’s some stuff we did my freshman year that they found new research on that said, ‘That may not be the best thing to do, this may be the best thing to do,’ so we’re constantly changing our workout regime and our workout program to meet the modern day student-athlete.”