One harsh reality of competitive sports that is often brushed over is that it doesn’t just matter how good you are, it matters how good you are in relation to other people. Usually this isn’t a major problem in the long run, as most of us will not go on to be professional athletes. But for people who take their sports a bit more seriously, knowing how they compare to their friends and regular teammates isn’t enough; even a terrible athlete can win best player as long as everyone else is worse.
For people who are genuinely interested in moving up to the next level, learning how they compare to the professionals is an essential step towards joining them. But beyond researching some basic stats, such as their average time or goals per season, building a comprehensive comparison can be a difficult thing to do.
Exercise Science Toolkit
Thankfully, the exercise science team at the University of South Australia have built a tool that not only allows you to compare yourself to professional athletes from over 100 different sports, but also lets you do it for free.
The Exercise Science Toolkit is a free programme that allows users to input their own data and see where they rank on a professional scale. This can range from relatively basic and easy to obtain information, such as height, BMI, or hours spent exercising per week, to much more advanced scientific data, such as V02 max or hemoglobin levels. All elements of the toolkit are completely free, so the more of your own data you can get, the more you can use it.
The toolkit is divided into 6 sections, some of which will be more useful than others depending on your needs. These six sections are: pre-exercise screening; fitness testing; body composition; sports match (i.e. what sport suits you best); blood biomarkers; and a virtual population generator for statistical analysis.
The level of detail provided by this kit means you can compare yourself to athletes from a particular sport, or based on factors such as age bracket and location. So if you’re curious to know whether or not you can jump higher than a female bodybuilder in her 30s, you’re just a few clicks away.
Not all of the information required to use the full features of the toolkit is easy to come by, and not all of it will be needed or even useful. But for people seriously invested in taking their game to the next level, this toolkit is a gift from the sports gods, allowing you to zero in on any issues that could be holding you back, ultimately enabling you to hone your abilities in microscopic detail.
If you’re curious to see how the toolkit works, but don’t have any of your information to hand, you can test it out with a randomly generated character by clicking here.