The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer

Dr. Marcus Elliott, From Harvard Medical School to Entrepreneur in Applied Sports Science

June 15, 2020

Dr. Elliott gives us incredible insights into the world of Applied Sports Science and how this is a potential game-changer for athlete training, injury prevention and using big data to create a winning formula.  This is “Moneyball” with human movement data.  Anyone who is involved in managing a team, club or professional league needs to hear this and pay close attention.


Key Highlights

  1. His start after graduating from Havard Medical School, building a career track which didn’t exist
  2. His days with the New England Patriots, how a doctor can win two Superbowl rings, by reducing injuries to the athletes
  3. Waste of a world class education, over qualified personal trainer?
  4. MLB, Seattle Mariners days, solving the next problem
  5. SPORTS with the highest skill component has the most slack in athletes physical development compared to other Olympic sports
  6. Applied Sports Science – the new era of athlete development – the “applied” part is the key
  7. The study of the human response to sport (Physiology, Bio Mechanics, Psychology, skill acquisition)
  8. Most valuable part is studying “athlete movements” – how we move has profound consequences how we perform, which body parts wear out and how long a career will last
  9. Data capture thru motion images
  10. 60% of NBA athletes have gone thru the system – very detailed view of the mechanical system of these athletes
  11. Create big data sets and correlation studies – at the core, it’s high school physics applied over and over
  12. James Harden story – he is basically an average player on most performance metrics but has superhuman breaking abilities (hidden performance metric)
  13. Luka Doncic, Slovenian player making a big impact in the NBA because he has the same ability
  14. Identifying new secondary metrics and building up granular data which can have huge impact on performances
  15. Data shows how injuries are related to the player's movement, thru algorithm
  16. NBA program with his company, testing all new players coming into the League
  17. Data protection, fine line and sensitive area
  18. His favorite thing is to work with young talented athletes and guide them through a long career
  19. How to find the next Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt or the next elite NBA defender
  20. Learning from each athlete and his metrics
  21. Olympic sports, ie. swimming is harder to create bigger impact from the data (working at 98% already)
  22. Easier in skill dependant sport to have a big impact (many athletes work below 85%)
  23. Football/Soccer is well behind American sports in athlete optimization
  24. Critical movements in football happen in a fraction of a second which create the game-winning move, that can be measured and trained
  25. Manchester United story – Mr. Mourinho  
  26. Massive opportunity to make improvements to athlete movement optimization
  27. German National Team – great executers, innovators but a little conservative
  28. How does the learning from the top athletes can impact the average weekend warrior
  29. It should be all about prevention of injuries and before body parts wear out  
  30. How to take the knowledge to another level for the masses – data collection
  31. Athlete coming out after the Covid break – his thoughts on players out coming and going straight into Play-off season
  32. Connect with him on LinkedIn or get in touch with me



Dr. Marcus Elliott is a Harvard trained physician who has innovated the use of technology, data, and applied sports science in the care of professional athletes. As Founder of P3, Dr. Elliott has served as sports science director for many of the leading organizations in professional sport. In each case the objective has been to take the guesswork out of athlete development and to find the most actionable data for creating competitive advantages in performance and injury prevention for these teams.
Dr. Elliott has served as the first director of sports science in the NFL (2000) and MLB (2008), and has led out the NBA's data-driven approach to caring for their athletes. Additionally, over the past 12 years P3 has compiled the most comprehensive database of professional athlete performance and kinematic metrics in sport, and is utilizing that database across multiple project fronts.

Dr. Elliott was awarded the Augustus Thorndike visiting lecturer and professor award at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2019 for his contributions in sports medicine and science. As an internationally renowned leader in the field of applied sports science, he also serves on several boards in the sports and performance nutrition fields. He primarily resides in Santa Barbara Ca., with his wife Nadine and three children.


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