Can sports science be used to improve an athlete's performance?
The Texans believe it can.
"We hired Erik Korem as a director of sports science," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "He's a guy that works with the Catapult company. He was out there today. We're trying to, again, do what's best for our players, trying to maximize peak performance. That's one way we can do it."
Korem's Catapult athlete monitoring program uses objective data to provide insight on how to enhance performance. Korem, who previously served in a similar role for the University of Kentucky, also worked as a speed development consultant with track and field athletes during the 2008 Olympics. He used his program to train Kentucky's first-round draft pick Bud Dupree for the NFL Combine last year.
It's cutting edge technology being adapted by just a handful of collegiate and professional soccer, NBA, and NFL teams. The hope is that the metrics provided by Catapult could potentially translate into fewer injuries and maximize player potential.
"I would not say that I'm an expert in sports science," O'Brien said. "I'm not an expert in anything. I think that what we've tried to do is bring Erik Korem in here to try to help us with player workloads, sleep habits, nutrition, scripting in certain instances. He's kind of branches into a lot of different areas. He's a very bright guy. We're starting off really slow with him. We're not trying to throw the whole kitchen sink at our players because that's a big part of it. The players need to buy into it. But I think so far, so good."
See photos from Monday's Texans OTA workout.