Excited and priviledged to be joining the @NHLFlyers family as their Director of Sports Science.— Ben Peterson PhD (@Ben_J_Peterson) August 14, 2016
Quietly over the weekend, the Philadelphia Flyers hired Ben Peterson, the former direct of research and analytics at Catapult Sports. His new title with the Flyers? Director of Sports Science.
According to his LinkedIn profile, here’s what Peterson did at Catapult:
Working with the players and performance coaches of elite teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA Division I. I help teams identify and evaluate contextual analytics by measuring training volumes, (accelerations, decelerations, change of direction speeds, biomechanical and physiological load quantifications), in real time, to improve performance outcomes and reduce soft tissue injuries of athletes.
Sounds fancy. In 2015, Peterson put together this 28 minute presentation on how teams can effectively keep their players healthy on the ice. In it, he called himself Catapult’s “hockey specialist.”
That presentation is absolutely fascinating, and I highly recommend watching it if you’re at all interested in this stuff, or in the Flyers’ newest employee. It seems like Peterson will be working pretty closely with the Flyers coaching staff to ensure that they’re being smart about training regiments and player workload, in addition to helping them with better data around just exactly what players are doing.
The Flyers had previously been one of a handful of NHL teams to work with Catapult, which works with many teams across pro sports. We got into that a bit in this story back in 2014. This hire basically feels like the Flyers are doubling down on this stuff, which is exciting because they are certainly on the cutting edge with it in the league.