LAURIE MALONE
CEO, VALD PERFORMANCE

I’m pleased to announce Vald Performance’s recent acquisition of NMP Technologies, makers of ForceDecks.  ForceDecks is widely known in the elite sport arena as the world’s fastest, most intuitive and most powerful dual force plate system for analysing neuromuscular performance.

ForceDecks Dual Force Plate System

Much like Vald Performance’s existing measurement systems (NordBord Hamstring Testing System, GroinBar Hip Strength Testing System and HumanTrak Movement Analysis System), ForceDecks has built a reputation in elite sport, research and clinical practice for successfully balancing a combination of evidence-based functionality with ease of use. This is a large part of why we saw so many synergies between our systems when we first met Dr. Daniel Cohen (@danielcohen1971) and Dr. Phil Graham-Smith (@PhilipGrahamSm2), founders and inventors of ForceDecks.

“Technology is great, but it only works for us if it’s validated and practical.  We’ve used ForceDecks and Vald Performance systems for several seasons now, and they’ve become integral parts of our screening and monitoring programs – not just because they’re supported by research but also because they’re quick and easy to use.”

Emidio Pacecca (@Mids9) – Head Physiotherapist / Medical Coordinator, Carlton FC

FORCEDECKS FORCE PLATE SOLUTIONS

Through their more than 40 years of combined work in sports science, Drs. Cohen and Graham-Smith have developed an unparalleled knowledge of force platform testing, including an understanding of the practical shortcomings of traditional force platform technology in the elite sport and clinical environments.

It was this deep understanding and day-to-day use of force platforms in their roles that inspired the pair to develop a solution and overcome these shortcomings – primarily aimed at reducing the laborious and time-consuming gap between performing a test and providing meaningful data to practitioner and athlete.

They did this by translating their extensive knowledge of force platform data and force-time curves into robust software algorithms that could automatically identify which activity was being performed and which key results to report on. Automatically (without even the click of a button), these algorithms instantaneously turn thousands of data points from jumps, contractions or activities into simple, understandable and actionable data. This software would become the engine behind ForceDecks.

ForceDecks software can automatically detect and analyse key movement phases during a range of jumping, isometric and strength exercises, something that would’ve traditionally taken hours of painstaking manual analysis. This image shows an auto-analysed countermovement jump (CMJ).

The pair also identified another shortcoming with traditional force platform technology. They realised that the prohibitive costs of traditional force platform hardware was a significant barrier to the large-scale adoption of force platform technology, so they (with the help of their business partner David Kuper) decided to develop their own affordable hardware solutions.

With ForceDecks joining Vald Performance, we have the opportunity to expand on this vision, using our experience in manufacturing and logistics to make force platform technology even more affordable and accessible to health and performance professionals.

The ForceDecks team brings with them an impressive list of over 100 existing clients, including English Premier League teams, NFL teams, NBA teams, MLB teams, UEFA teams Olympic teams, research institutions, and sports medicine facilities. ForceDecks is also the official force platform supplier of the English Institute of Sport. Most importantly, they share with us a common focus on going above and beyond to educate and support their clients.

“Vald Performance and ForceDecks technologies play an integral role in our athlete-centred approach to performance here at Penn State. We’re always looking to streamline our protocols and enhance our analytics by removing the guesswork from athlete management and injury screening processes. ForceDecks joining the Vald Performance line-up is a great bonus for us and we’re excited to see what the team can do together as their systems integrate.”

Dave Hamilton (@dkhammy) – Assistant Athletic Director for Applied Health and Performance Science, Penn State University

OUR RATIONALE

As many of you are aware, Vald Performance’s core vision is to provide health and performance professionals with the right information to make the right decision at the right time.

This journey started with our first system – the NordBord Hamstring Testing System. Two world-leading researchers Dr. Anthony Shield (@das_shield) and Dr. David Opar (@davidopar) saw a widespread problem, stepped back and took it upon themselves to solve it and provide health and performance professionals with access to hamstring strength data that was not previously available.

From these beginnings, Vald Performance has successfully applied its core vision to help health and performance professionals with our other systems.

Now Vald Performance finds itself in a familiar situation, having the opportunity to work with Dr. Daniel Cohen and Dr. Phil Graham-Smith – two experts in their field who have taken a widespread problem, stepped back and taken it upon themselves to solve it.

We’re proud to have Drs Cohen and Graham-Smith joining the Vald Performance team, as their knowledge and experience will be invaluable beyond the products they have developed. For a deeper look inside why they’ve chosen to join us, you can read this post from Dr Cohen.

“At my previous role in basketball and now here at Connacht Rugby, ForceDecks has been a major piece of our player monitoring alongside the NordBord. And, more recently with the GroinBar, they have helped me build truly robust athlete profiles and deep insights to which training methodologies are going to best prepare them for the rigours of their sport. I rely on them for my practice and they never let me down.”

David Howarth (@dave_h165– Head of Athletic Performance, Connacht Rugby

AN EXCITING FUTURE AHEAD

Beyond what the NordBord, GroinBar, HumanTrak and ForceDecks can do today, what’s most exciting is what we can achieve together in the future. With these four systems coming together, we’re proud to be able to say we have a world-leading suite of human performance measurement systems, and beyond that, the capability to deeply integrate them and provide functionality and analytics that have never before been possible.

Once again, I’m thrilled to be able to announce this milestone, and excited to see what it means in the near future for our clients.

Should you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to get in touch.

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