As basketball continues to overflow with talent, the competition to rise above the rest strengthens each year. From rigorous conditioning exercises to spending hours drawing up innovative plays, technology also plays a heavy role in helping to sharpen the skills of the nation's best in the game.
Pronounced "S-I-Q," SIQ is a revolutionary app with potential to become the next big sensation in virtual coaching. Founded in 2008 by Finnish pro-baller Harri Hohteri, the product even landed the endorsement of Miami Heat star Duncan Robinson and Minnesota Lynx star Kayla McBride.
"I had been going through a bit of a slump when I first got back to Minnesota from playing overseas," McBride told Yahoo Sports. "Going into the gym, working on little things and seeing how my misses looked like, the app helped me see the mechanics behind the shots I made that didn't look so good and make instant adjustments."
Those instant adjustments have definitely paid off. McBride and the Lynx are currently on an 8-game winning streak, and the former Notre Dame Fighting Irish is averaging 14 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds per game. She's also the league leader in free throw percentages.
"The game changes, but the shot should never change. So, having something like SIQ to kind of go back and lean on has really been beneficial to me."
Like most modern marvels, SIQ is powered by an app. Upon purchasing the FIBA-approved smart Basketball ($99) you can join the fun via two different costs. Priced at $6.99 a month, you get access to all the shoot features like release angle, shot distance, shot quickness and more. For the $12.99/month Shooter Pro option, they'll toss in a complimentary new smart ball every 12 months.
Additional highlights include multi-ball support, a heat map to see how you shoot from all parts of the court and data on a spin rate. Think of SIQ as your 24/7 basketball coach that won't make you run laps if you miss three in a row.
Feedback, growth of SIQ and the possibility for outreach at the youth level
McBride's 15-year-old younger sister is a SIQ enthusiast and in a short amount of time, has noticed improvements on both her shot distance and quickness.
Other feedback show similar sentiments. In Los Angeles, a youth shooting coach McBride works with said students developed confidence in their stance and that resulted in increased basketball retention rates.
"SIQ has a wide spectrum and ability to help a number of players across all experience levels," McBride declared. "Not just professional players, but even those who want to play in the league."
We've seen the way video assistant referee has sparked heated conversations in soccer and in tennis, a challenge on whether the ball landed out of bounds is the difference between championship point or another service game. As the brand soars to new heights, so will SIQ's reach.
"The more we can implement it into the real-life game, the more we can take off," McBride said. "Great players want to focus on the details of the game and how it pushes them to get better. SIQ gives us the chance to do that without even thinking about it."
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