NEW YORK - Whether it's because of an injury, or they're not having fun anymore, the journey of playing sports for most kids comes to an end at the age of 14.
That's where the sports technology app Mustard comes in. It uses artificial intelligence to simply analyze what an athlete is doing and offers tips on how it can be corrected, so kids can stay healthy and have more fun on the field.
14-year-old Eddie McCartney is a middle school pitcher, who's only been using Mustard for two months, but is already seeing results.
“Mustard has helped me with my motion it’s helped me with mechanics,” says McCartney.
CEO and founder of Mustard, Rocky Collis says, "The user's video comes into the system. We can give the user 3-d biomechanical data."
The biomechanical data is a breakdown of how the body is moving during the athletic process, like how a pitcher uses his body when throwing.
"Mechanical things that are evidence-based. So how far you stride and how quickly you do it plays a huge roll in how hard you throw," says Luke Collis, COO and co-founder of Mustard.
The AI monitors that motion and then it's used to offer the athlete-specific coaching tips aimed at improving form.
Mustard was co-founded by former major league pitcher Tom House. He has an extensive biomechanical database and has worked with several MLB Hall of Fame pitchers.
"What we've been able to do is take everything I would do in person on elite guys and it will now be able to be delivered on a cell phone," says House.
This would mean a still image of the athlete, instead of slowing down and pausing the video. Athletes are then given a report card, which has 11 different variables. For each variable, the athlete will either get a pass or fail, and an overall efficiency score.
"For any of the variables you're not passing yet, that will trigger recommendations for drills and exercises that the user should do," says Rocky.
It's also convenient at a time when young athletes are not getting the hands-on treatment they're used to getting.
“Mustard the first product, it’s been great. During covid times when you don’t have someone to pitch to. It’s been helping.” says Eddie.
The Mustard app is free, and the company says it's planning on adding premium features at a low monthly subscription rate.
"The vision for this short and long term is applications kids can use. In the living room, in the schoolyard, in the backyard. With or without a coach." says Rocky.