a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Sports, Tech, and What We Can All Learn from the Latest Performance Science

Jeff Jordan and Mark McClusky

Posted November 14, 2014


The modern, average 12-year-old Madden NFL videogame player has actually visualized more plays than ‪any past real-life NFL Hall-of-Famer. And now, for the first time, we’re seeing those videogame tactics show up on the field too. There’s a “technological and analytical arms race” going on in sports, and it’s producing the world’s best athletes in history.

How are they working smarter, using science and technology to enhance the way they train and perform, when it’s not enough to put in 10,000 hours? How should athletes sleep? (Note: you can try this at home, too). What does “performance by the aggregation of marginal gains” have to do with winning? And what can we all take from such insights?

Author of the new book Faster, Higher, Stronger Wired’s Mark McClusky — interviewed by a16z General Partner (and enthusiastic basketball player) Jeff Jordan — bridge the worlds of “jocks” and “nerds” in this wide-ranging conversation about sports, performance technology, nature vs. nurture, and the tricky nuances of why some enhancement technologies are legal vs. illegal or better vs. worse than others.

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The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.

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