Ever since I was 10 years old, I knew that I wanted to be a professional basketball player. Basketball meant everything in the world to me. I ate, slept, breathed, and dreamt basketball and was set on becoming a professional player even from a young age.
One vivid memory from my childhood illustrates just how much basketball meant to me. One day, my basketball coach asked me to get something out of his trunk for him. When I opened up his trunk I was completely shocked to see that he had a football and a pair of football shoes next to his spare tire.
“How could he? How dare he have football gear?” I thought furiously to myself. I felt like he had cheated on me because, in my mind and heart, there was only ONE sport and that was basketball.
My passion for the game only increased as the years passed, and ultimately, I was blessed to live out my dream and become a professional basketball player. Even after my pro career ended prematurely due to a severe knee injury, I knew that no matter what else I did professionally in life, it would somehow be connected to the world of sports. That was and is my home, where I’m comfortable and happy.
Interestingly, after spending lots of years running basketball camps, coaching and developing basketball products, I somehow ended up working at a soccer tech company! This was a surprise, even to me, and seemed pretty ironic in light of that childhood experience with my coach!
But, Playermaker has actually turned out to be another “home” for me that albeit feels different from what I’m used to, but still very comfortable and challenging in a good way. Here’s why:
Some things in sports are the same whether you are talking about basketball, soccer, ice skating or track & field. One of those things is the importance of taking care of our body from the bottom up, meaning from the feet. In many cases if there’s a problem with your feet nothing else will work like it is supposed to – physiologically and also technically.
PlayerMaker is fascinating in that respect. Their philosophy is centered around a kind of chain reaction that works like this: If you protect your feet you can protect your heels; if you protect your heels you can protect your knees; and if you protect your knees you protect your pelvis…and then on to the spine and the entire body.
At PlayerMaker we use a deep understanding of the body (and specifically, the feet) along with advanced technology like AI and machine learning to help athletes optimize their technique and performance while minimizing injury risk.
2. The Data
In professional basketball (and in many other sports) data and analytics is everything! In every sport there are constantly new ways to capture more data, more accurately. In soccer, there are many solutions from video capturing to GPS vests but there is not one solution that measures the most important thing – the interaction between the player and the ball including the number of touches, kick velocity, possessions, technical balance of the foot, and many other metrics. At PlayerMaker, I’m on the cutting edge of this exciting and literally game-changing field.
3. Same Tech For All
Throughout my career – from when I was playing recreationally, to high school, through college and then professionally – I always took the game seriously and wanted to improve. So, the fact that PlayerMaker develops tech that works for ALL ages and levels is something I really like and am proud to be part of. The notion that pro players and much younger players are using the exact same devices and have access to the same data makes the game much more exciting on all levels.
4. You Play Like You Practice
As an athlete, we are trained to “practice like you are playing,” because once you get to the big game (or match, in the case of soccer), you’ll play with the same level of effort and training you invested in practice.
So I really appreciate that PlayerMaker’s wearable tech brings so much value to both training and competition. Whether you use it to get better during practice or to track your progress in games, it will always have you moving forward, pushing harder, and getting better because the data doesn’t lie.
5. Injury Prevention Is The First Line Of Defence
I’ll never forget the moment I called my wife from the Maccabi Haifa basketball arena to tell her that I was injured again and that, this time, my career was over. All those years of training – gone. Pushing myself to tears every day in practice trying to improve – done. Game winning shots, passes and steals – a thing of the past. My teammates’ coach’s relationships and unforgettable moments – memories. These are very real emotions that injured players have to deal but all wish we could avoid.
That’s why it is exciting for me to be involved with a tech company that is making huge strides in injury prevention. Helping to prevent injuries or to bolster an athlete’s injury prevention strategy is critical; it can be the difference between an athlete having to retire prematurely due to an injury they never saw coming….or the athlete playing another decade thanks to carefully tracking their injury risk and adjusting their training as necessary.
I promised you five reasons, but there’s actually one more KEY reason and it’s this:
6. Amazing Team
Oftentimes, relationships are the fuel that powers a successful journey, and the importance of the dynamic between colleagues, teammates, and the like should never be underestimated. I remember reading the bios of the Playermaker staff for the first time and being absolutely blown away. When I went to the office for face to face meetings with some of the team members – and later virtual meetings with the rest – I knew I was joining a winning team. It’s been a pleasure and I’m excited to keep the ball moving in the right direction!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to all,
Check out Tamir’s documentary produced by The Players Tribune
Click here for more information about Tamir Goodman.