Dave Hancock has worked with Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello, Phil Jackson and some of the biggest names in sport.
But now the ex-Chelsea and England physio is leading a digital revolution at a time when technology has arguably never been more important for players during lockdown.
Hancock’s company Apollo has set up a groundbreaking phone app to allow clubs to keep a check on player fitness, diet, mental health and even sleep patterns.
Manchester United are long standing clients, more Premier League teams are coming on board and Hancock already has established links in US sport having worked at the New York Knicks and with NBA star Kevin Durant and the NFL’s Odell Beckham Junior.
Technology in sport is already at remarkable levels but this app pulls all the data into one place to allow players and coaches to tap in at the touch of a button.
Hancock, who is now based in New York, said: “It’s really important now because, during the Covid crisis, you can then communicate with players.
"You have got data coming in from all angles – Game data, statistics, GPS, heart rate, monitoring players when they are not on site. You wear an Apple Watch now and it can look at what calories you burn, the quality of your sleep, all manner of things.
“We have a coaches’ app, an athlete app and a medical app, all under one umbrella. I can sit back as a coach and see who has done the workout, who has read the programme sent to them, who has watched the video.
“If we’re playing Man City at the weekend, I can send all the video clips to the players so they can review them. All the video staff could be using different platforms and yet it all comes together on the one Apollo platform.
“Man United are in lockdown, the Championship is in lockdown, it’s a vey difficult situation and if you are not receiving the data then you can’t see how they are maintaining their fitness, you can’t see how they are feeling or deliver meal plans to them.
“The more information you can get about them remotely, the more you can communicate and be ready for when they return to training.”
Hancock formed a tight bond with Joe Cole while at Chelsea and the ex-England midfielder is on board with the company, he still speaks to Mourinho and has remained in touch with Frank Lampard from their days together with club and country.
Tech in sport has come a long way in the last 20 years from the days of ProZone to today with STATSports – with the familiar GPS vests players wear – which can track player performance levels every step of the way.
But what sets apart the best coaches, according to Hancock, is the ability to move with the times.
“I still talk to Jose and I still look out for the teams I worked for. I worked with Frank and still speak to him. Someone like Jose is adaptable and you can’t be as successful as him unless you do adapt,” said Hancock.
“Fabio was a gentleman. You learn a lot from everyone. Like Phil Jackson, he was super successful and it doesn’t mean you are always successful at every team you manage but I could sit down with him, have breakfast and pick his brain.
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