7 Helpful Tools And Resources For Athletes

While many star athletes are born with preternatural gifts, none of them reach the heights of greatness without devoting serious time and attention to practice and training. With sports representing not only a set of beloved pastimes, but a highly lucrative industry, it's no wonder that the world is filled with tools and services devoted to boosting athletic performance of all kinds. In no particular order, this list explores programs and gear for sporting people looking to take things to the next level.

Kicking off our list at #1 is Brad Walker, also known as the Stretch Coach. He has worked with elite-level and world-champion athletes from sports as diverse as triathlon, motorcycle racing, rollerskating, squash, and baseball. A former nationally recognized Australian triathlete, Walker has lectured extensively on stretching, flexibility, and sports injury management.

Since the 1990s, Walker has developed fitness and sports coaching services in response to steadily increasing rates of injury. His offerings include handbooks, DVDs, software, and routines, as well as many other items designed to help people improve their health and well-being through better flexibility and mobility.

In the #2 spot is Precision Hydration. Founded in 2011 by sport and exercise scientist Andy Blow, the company was created to offer personalized hydration solutions for athletes. Its approach was developed in consultation with Dr. Raj Jutley, a heart surgeon who pioneered the practice of sweat testing, which provides an accurate reading of how much sodium a person loses during exertion.

Precision Hydration maintains sweat testing centers, as well as an operation that provides the service to pro sports teams. Additionally, the company offers hydration solutions, such as tablets, packets, and supplements, that are tailored to the specific needs revealed through individual testings.

For #3, we have FieldLevel, an athletic recruiting network that connects athletes with teams and coaches with talent. It aims not only to streamline and organize the recruitment process, but to foster greater trust among the parties involved. The service is available for a number of different sports, including baseball, football, field hockey, lacrosse, and water polo, among many others.

For pro scouts, college programs, and professional clubs, the FieldLevel app offers information about athletes directly from their coaches, and facilitates relationships between recruiters at different points in the chain. For athletes and their families, it is designed to maximize opportunities, enhance collaboration, and target exposure to the teams that provide a good fit.

The #4 entry is the Fluid Running H2Go system. All together, it includes proprietary equipment and digital workouts that allow for a non-weight bearing form of exercise, to be performed in a pool at an athlete's convenience. Its videos are coached by founder Jennifer Conroyd, a lover of endurance sports who discovered the benefits of deep water running after sustaining an injury while training for the Chicago Marathon.

The deep water running system is designed to serve a variety of different user types, including athletes, fitness buffs, those who are injured or disabled, weight-losers, and medical practitioners. Offering a pain-free workout with a low risk of injury, Fluid Running pledges to improve cardiovascular fitness and provide rigorous training for the core and stabilizer muscles.

Coming in at #5, we have Driveline Baseball, a training program for players and a supplier of solutions for coaches. It offers courses in pitching and hitting at high school, college, and pro levels, as well as youth development, all of which can be taken in-gym or remotely. For coaches, it provides tools to advance team programming, education, and gear.

Traq, Driveline's data-driven development software, is built for college, high school, and travel ball programs, independent facilities, and athletes. There are also online courses, as well as a subscription package that offers material year-round. The company's active research and development division works to evaluate and refine these offerings.

#6 is Sleeprate. Posing an alternative to sleep clinics, this service offers wearables that monitor users while they're catching some z's. Established in 2006 by Dr. Anda Baharav, a medical doctor, researcher, and sleep expert, the company has special programs for athletes that can help boost performance.

Sleeprate's A.I. algorithms were developed based on thousands of nights of elite athlete sleep data. Its software allows coaches to manage team training load at a glance, provides advanced recovery metrics, and gives athletes tools to deal with stress, sleep better, and avoid damaging fatigue.

Finishing up our list at #7, we have performance coach, author, and lecturer Steve Magness, who offers his services under the banner of the Science of Running. He has served as a consultant to professional sports teams from around the globe, and has worked with organizations and individuals in the NBA, MLB, International Rugby, MLS, and more.

Magness's books include Peak Performance, The Passion Paradox, and The Science of Running. In addition to blogs, articles, and podcasts, he provides instruction through educational programs and online courses, dealing with subjects such as coaching, performance, and running history.