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What it’s like to work as a sports scientist at enduco

Hi, Tessa. What are your tasks at enduco? If someone asked you to describe your field of work in three words – what would be your answer?

Hello everyone, my tasks at enduco are very diverse. 

Part of my work involves researching and summarizing areas of training science. In the last few months we have looked at various regeneration methods in more detail and currently we are tackling the big topic of sleep. A short and concise summary appears every Friday in our #ScienceFriday post. From time to time we get questions from our users, which we have been discussing and answering factually in our podcast for about three weeks now. 

The second big part of my work deals with the “Coach”. The Coach is the pro-version of our current app and should be available for every kind of endurance athlete – like a personal coach. Here we often have to imagine different scenarios, for example what happens if a user is sick or injured or simply misses a planned training session. It is my task to find a scientifically based adjustment for the coach algorithm, which allows the user to be in top condition for a season highlight.

I always discuss my ideas with the IT staff and ask them whether my adjustment is easy to implement or not. Most of the time other problems arise during such an exchange of information, which have to be fixed together. The next typical step is for the IT people to implement the adjustment. I am then given an Excel spreadsheet to check the data from the training science. 

So briefly and concisely I would describe my field of work with the 3 words teamwork, strategic planning and innovation.

How do they differ from “classic” jobs as sports scientists? 

I think the classic job as a sports scientist would not be as varied as my job. The interdisciplinary work with the IT people, marketing and the designers of the app makes the job very diverse and interesting. 

In addition to the classical research and summary of scientific training findings – as you know it from university, I have the opportunity to discuss and exchange scientific training content with our CEO, who is also a sports scientist. The special thing about a start-up is that nobody knows the right solution for different scenarios, but that we all work as a team on the best possible solution. This is what makes it so important to work in an interdisciplinary way and to always be in communication with colleagues so that no information is lost or misunderstood. It is simply a great experience to see how ideas are put into practice and slowly become more and more attainable as a completed project.

I am really thankful to have such a varied job and to work with so many different colleagues. 

What do you particularly like about it?

I really like the working atmosphere! You can see how every employee is passionate about what she/he does and just wants to get the best out of our product. The communication between us is just right! All opinions are noticed, questioned and attempted to be positively included. I think that’s the special thing about a start-up, that every employee is intrinsically motivated and likes to put a little more effort into a project than you might expect. 

If we need some fresh air, we can go for a lunch run or a lunch ride in the nearby forest. Even for short breaks, there is table tennis in our headquarters for a little battle. 

What could you take away/learn for yourself in the job so far?

I think I can say that my first 3 months at enduco have helped me to grow personally.

Without enduco it would never have occurred to me to record a podcast! Now look, the first 3 are already on Spotify etc.  and I am really surprised how much positive feedback we got! Of course, I was super nervous before the first recording but after listening to it for the first time I thought it didn’t sound so bad. 😀 The next podcast I approached with more confidence.

By working with the Coach Algorithm, I learned to formulate conditions or rules in such a way that the IT people explicitly know what happens when, why and how they have to implement it. I was practically “forced” to say in a nutshell what I would like to have and how without leaving any room for speculation. Actually a great exercise, I think.

Where do you see challenges in sports science and in the mission of enduco?

In my opinion, the challenge in sports science is that we can never communicate face to face with our users. We really have to think through every scenario that might occur and plan a strategic and individual solution for each user. This takes time, but it is definitely not impossible! Good things take time. We are really developing an innovative product, which is not yet available on the market. We are a young and dynamic team and are ready to face any challenge! 

Closing words?

It is fun to work in such a motivated and flexible team and to think differently. Sometimes you reach your limits but this only helps you to broaden your horizon and maybe find a better solution. 

It’s great to work at enduco as a sports scientist and to be able to experience the development process first hand! 

I am curious to see where our team and our products will be in 2 years!