When we began in 2015, we didn't really know what the path ahead was like. We had an idea as to maybe one day it might start to come together. Living in Sam's house, with two new babies and a brand new company, it was a risk. Sam was using his own results, and multiple Excel sheets, to track and plan his performance. I was trying to plan if there was a service we would offer.
From those early days, EquiRatings has been based on turning competition results into information and ratings. The information fueled the media work and the podcasts. The ratings ended up being used in lots of different ways, from managing risk with international governing bodies to selecting Olympic teams. We got very good at using numbers to assess performance (where athletes or horses are now), and very good at helping riders and coaches set targets (where they needed to get to) but there was a gap.
We knew pretty quickly that we had a gap in the improvement loop, just no money, or time, or team to solve it yet. People said, 'I get that this is my performance now and I understand the targets, but how do I actually get better?'
We didn’t have the answer immediately. ‘That’s the art, the coaching, the learning, we are just the science’, we initially thought. Before long, we realised that if we were ever going to actually close the loop for people, we needed to help them access the coaching.
Then we met Gear:
When we started OnForm, the vision was to bring new technologies to skill sports in order to make video feedback and structured training accessible and useful. Having spent the last 20 years building TrainingPeaks, I was very familiar with the coach-athlete communication loop of creating a plan, doing structured training, getting feedback and repeating it until mastery.
In 2019, we partnered with Gear and Krishna at OnForm. They were building a video analysis and coaching tool to allow coaches and athletes to connect. We began to add in the pieces to make it work in the equestrian disciplines. Every rider, every horse, in any country in the world and at any level can have access to feedback and exercises.
The goal is to provide the tool for coaches and athletes to access each other.
The goal is to share video and communicate in a modern and useful way.
The goal to close the improvement gap.
Sam has launched his own training site with new videos and exercises and his plans for coaching. This is him talking about the launch:
My biggest passion is progress and I strongly believe that riders seeing their own performance, accompanied by expert feedback is the key to better understanding, faster learning and improved performance. Access and opportunity can be major blockers to performance progress in sport. 'I only see my coach twice a month' is no longer a reason to train without purpose or without feedback. This tool is a great step for EquiRatings to bring people through the full loop of where you are now, where you want to get to and, now, how to do it.
Lots of work done and lots more to do, we are delighted to be working with OnForm and to be starting the journey together.