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Atavus Partners with Volt for Rugby Training App

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Atavus Partners with Volt for Rugby Training App

Rugby training has gone digital and at the center of it, Atavus has partnered with a company named Volt to provide any rugby player, anywhere, with the ability to prepare for the season and stay conditioned throughout the season.

Volt is a 5-year-old company that devised an app that allows athletes and coaches to customize and track strength and conditioning plans.

It’s more than just recording how many steps you took.

Volt Co-Founder and CEO Dan Giuliani, who played rugby at Colby College, said his company has been working to help the isolated athlete get better.

“We started in 2009 with the idea to serve sports and levels that were traditionally under-served,” Giuliani told Goff Rugby Report. “We wanted to put really good training in the hands of the athletes, to help them perform at a high level and stay healthy while doing so. We wanted to develop a technology that created really good training plans and put it at a price point that would be accessible for every athlete.”

The first effort was market ready in 2013, and has since grown. Over 2,300 teams are on Volt, and it seems that the main market is high school teams and small college teams. 

“It’s perfect, because Volt is doing what we built Volt to do,” said Giuliani. “We are providing expert-level strength and conditioning in a sports-specific way that’s personalized to the athlete.”

Giuliani played offensive line for the Colby football team and was then recruited to play rugby. Once he found out he could run with the ball, he jumped at the chance, and lined up at center for Colby.

But he also got to see the difference between a rugby club on campus and a varsity team. 

“It is very rare circumstance that the rugby team gets access to a school’s strength and conditioning staff,” said Giuliani. “The premise was to put the expertise that’s typically missing in the small college and sports environment into the hands of the coaches and athletes.”

The athletes - that’s the new thing. The initial offering from Volt was geared toward teams. Now they have unveiled an app for individuals. It fits very well with rugby, where players are often on their own working to get better.

Volt connected with the coaches at Atavus to get insight into the requirements of the sport.

“Rugby is a big part of targeting the individual,” said Giuliani. “The rugby market’s really unique and really exciting. You’ve got athletes at every level, running a risk of injury in a physical game. From a strength & conditioning perspective, rugby’s a perfect sport to really try to close that gap between what resources players have at their disposal and the expert level. 

“Sports stop after college; rugby does not,” Giuliani continued. “So there’s a lot to work with there. We worked closely with Atavus to create a high-quality, credible, trustworthy training program.”

Atavus Head of Rugby Programming Emilie Bydwell said the mission is to give athletes a high-quality e-coaching experience, and she said they deliver.

“It’s right in line with our mission,” said Bydwell. “We have our academies, and there are other rugby academies out there, and they are excellent and necessary, but you can’t get to every athlete face-to-face. Whether to can access the athletes or not, this provides them with the expertise they need.”

Even high performance teams use virtual instruction for workouts. This just expands it.

It’s very easy to sign up to the app. Athletes put in information about height, weight, age, and experience level. They also put in information about the rugby season - it’s June and you want to be ready to start the season in January? The app provides a plan. It’s June and you start in September? The plan is different.

Each day has a specific workout, with animated GIFs to show proper body position and movement. Atavus High Performance Manager Chris Tombs worked with Volt to create rugby-specific exercises and workouts. It’s not just a catch-all, but designed for rugby.

“There are add-ons, as well,” said Bydwell. “If you’re worried about your ACL, there are things you can do for that. If you’re having trouble getting low enough in the tackle, or you want to gain more size or improve your grip strength, there are add-ons for that. It’s a great way to get the most out of your training.”

Too often rugby players at any level feel a bit alone when it comes to off-season or off-day workouts. In addition, coaches may know the sport, but they are not experts in movement or lifting or other aspects of strength and conditioning. This technology could well be a simple, convenient, and, dare we say it, fun way to address those issues.

Athletes can sign up here http://vltath.co/ATAVUS, and the program requires a monthly subscription.