Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nike FuelBand and Ice Hockey

My own little Quantified Self project is to review the Nike FuelBand and it's use during Ice Hockey games.  I have two specific questions I'm chasing, although I expect fully to get some new insights in how to improve my hockey performance, or at least my fitness level, by challenging some assumptions. And, I freaking love data, healthcare gadgets (actually any gadgets) and Ice Hockey, so this is pretty much the definition of "in my wheelhouse."

Specifically, I have two hypothesis I'm testing.

I want to see if playing center is, in fact, the hardest position on the ice - or as Wikipedia puts it centers "are expected to cover more ice surface than any other player". Does this hold true for me? Could I even map it to team performance? I believe it to be true, at least, if you are playing center the right way (a huge caveat in this experiment, of course), but I'd like to see if I can actually show it in my play. I love playing defense (and the whole idea of hitting, rather than being hit, is appealing as well), but I'm focused on really understanding if I'm working as hard as I should at center. It's arguable that I should also be playing harder on defense, too. At least, so says my goalie.

I'm also starting to wonder if I'm not ending hockey days with the best workout - or even, surprisingly, an average workout. Specifically, I think I'm sandbagging it during the day of Ice Hockey games. I think I'm actually using hockey as an excuse to not get more steps, travel more distance, and use more "fuel" because "I'll make it up at hockey" - or, when I'm feeling particularly good "I need to save myself for the game" - although I'm starting to doubt either of those are facts. First, I don't think I actually make it up or hit my fitness goals, and second, I don't think going into the game with any more steps or exercise really adversely effects my play. I think it's an excuse.

I'm playing on three teams this season, so we should have ample data, although my FuelBand arrived after the season started, and the Memorial Day holiday in May is throwing a wrench in my first month collections, as all the schedules are a little disorganized heading into the weekend. A version of the spreadsheet is here, but a live-updating version can also be found in the next section.

So far there are only two games to show, but there is a difference (about 100 FuelPoints) between center and defense (with same number of lines), and interestingly, my 2nd best day and my worst day - both hockey days. Let's see what the data will reveal!

The Data: