Pro athlete turned tech entrepreneur says now more than ever athletes need technology to advance their recruiting potential!
Sacramento, CA – During this strange period of time when elite athletes around the world anxiously await their return to competition, technology has emerged as an essential commodity. Both the NFL draft and the WNBA will begin conducting virtual drafts this week using video conferencing and live streaming capabilities. The NBA is considering the option of finishing out their season in a “bubble city,” relying heavily on technology to quickly get their players into game shape while remaining isolated from one another. Among all the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, one thing has now become apparent: the world of sports has changed.
According to Damon J. Smith, an athlete with a 20+ year career in engineering, athletes should embrace the hiatus in the sporting world as an opportunity to reinvent their approach to the game.
Smith developed a company called Souletics that utilizes artificial intelligence to assist athletes and organizations through the recruiting process. His website allows athletes to compare their measurable statistics against data from 20 years of elite athletes and deliver an assessment of where they would rank in a potential draft situation. The site also offers a complete guide that helps athletes and their parents understand what is required to achieve success from youth sports all the way through to elite level competition, as well as strategies for transitioning athletic characteristics into other career opportunities.
“We’ve now entered an era of ‘sink or swim,’” says Smith. “Athletes must be ready to adapt, they must be thinking ahead, they must be fit at all times, and they must be technically savvy to survive this shift in the sports industry. The reality is that not everyone will become a professional athlete. The ones who don’t must be able to transition their skills into other areas that will bring them life success.”
Athletes who visit the Souletics.me site can set up a free profile that highlights their measurable statistics, and also includes a mental coaching questionnaire. The mindset assessment generates a unique 5-star rating in the areas of “Swagger” and “Grit/Soul,” demonstrating where the athlete can grow stronger in the intangible characteristics that promote elite level success.
In this new “sink or swim” economy, Smith believes it’s the subtle differences that will make or break an athlete’s chances in pro sports. But his motivation didn’t begin with the current pandemic. His sports technology company was birthed out of personal experience and a desire to identify great athletes who are often overlooked.
One time an NFL prospect himself, Smith had a solid 3-sport collegiate career and measurables that rival many of today’s top athletes. He got recruited and played for the Canadian Football League, but circumstances ended his football career prematurely. He transitioned into the engineering field and spent the next 18 years as a Silicon Valley engineer, pursuing other athletic and business endeavors along the way.
“I was fortunate enough to play at the pro level, but I witnessed a lot of really talented guys get completely overlooked,” says Smith. “Just the other day I looked at the measurable numbers of a starting lineup player in this year’s Super Bowl and his numbers were far inferior to mine and other players I’ve known. Sometimes coaches don’t click with certain players, so they don’t promote them. Other times, budgets and time constraints prohibit teams from seeing every potential player. Now that social isolation is in play, coaches may not be willing to take a chance on players who haven’t been fully vetted or tested in game play situations. Whatever the reason, there are thousands of extremely talented athletes who are dedicated, have great work ethic and excel in the classroom, but they may never get noticed by the right people.”
Building on his network of professional and collegiate coaches, Smith’s platform offers high school and college athletes an ability to promote themselves in a way that’s never before been offered, while providing coaches and scouts a fresh perspective on talent that they may have overlooked.
“Not only does my system allow me to pinpoint athletes with excellent measurables,” explains Smith, “but it also taps into what the eyes can’t see: the ‘it’ factor. If we can identify those players who are not only talented, but who have the grit to push through the pain and excel beyond what you or I can currently see, then we can deliver the next great athlete that surpasses all expectations. Then everyone wins.”
As we watch this week’s NFL draft from our living rooms, only one thing is certain. Athletes are ready to return to the arena, and the rest of us can’t wait to watch. Let the games begin!
For more information, or to set up your free online profile, visit https://souletics.me
Souletics.me offers the only athletic recruiting platform that focuses on the entire recruiting pipeline, from high school to the professional level, while preparing athletes for the highest levels of success in sports and all areas of life. We provide athletes and organizations with the insights and data that matter most. Souletics: The Mindset Coach and Strategy Specialist for athletic and life success.
Video Link: http://player.vimeo.com/video/375294076