This week, Website Planet
‘s Marko Velimirovic had the opportunity to talk with Odd Skarheim, CEO of Be Your Best
. We talked about the company, how it evolved, and what is in the pipeline for the near future.
Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
I’ve worked in both the corporate cognitive training industry with my other company Atensi. I’ve also worked in football for some time, having previously been chairman of Valerenga football club here in Norway. As time went by, it became clear that this was something that football was crying out for. The technical and physical side of the game has come so far, but the cognitive side is still something that remains relatively unexplored. Over the last few years, more and more research kept on appearing relating to this, and in particular, a specific skill in football known as scanning. The research showed that this particular skill could have a huge impact on performance. Be Your Best was born out of this.
What services do you offer?
Stripping it down, the service we offer is improved on field performance for football players. We do this by improving players’ cognitive skills in virtual reality. Using a Meta Quest VR headset, players gain access to the Be Your Best app, where they test their skills on the virtual field. In the app there are hundreds of scenarios that we’ve recreated from professional games. Players play through these scenarios from a first person perspective, as if they were on the field themselves. It’s up to them to train their scanning, awareness, vision, and decision making skills.
What is the mission of Be Your Best?
Be Your Best’s mission is to improve players everywhere by innovating the way they train cognitively. When it comes to football, the technical and physical side of training has always been emphasized.
But more and more people within the industry are starting to realize the potential of cognitive training. We want to lead the way on this, enhancing the way that players train for the better, to maximize their performance.
What separates you from other similar websites/companies?
There’s many football performance companies out there which are great for tracking and monitoring performance, but very few are actually proven to improve performance.
The same goes for other VR companies in the sector, they may be fun to play and entertaining, but none of them have a product that’s backed by science like ours.
Who are your typical customers, and what do you think is the main challenge that your product solves for them?
Our typical customer ranges from young players looking to improve their game, professionals players at the peak of their game, to clubs who want to invest in improving their players. The main problem for most aspiring players is standing out in such a competitive environment.
Finding ways to improve your game and getting ahead of the competition. In a game like football, where margins matter so much, if you can gain even a 2% increase in performance this can have a huge impact on your output over the course of a season. We provide players with a tool and framework to do that, without the need for hours of professional coaching.
Another benefit from the player’s perspective is the ability to train with no physical load. There’s only so much strain a player can put on their body as they train to improve. Be Your Best allows players to train without any physical strain whatsoever. This means they can put in extra hours before or after training. It also provides a way for players with more long term injuries to stay mentally sharp and active while they recover.
What are the plans for the company for the near future?
To continue our growth throughout the football world, helping thousands more players to improve. VR is still up and coming and we like to think we’re very early to the party. We’ve seen a huge increase in interest in cognitive training over the last few months even, and as VR becomes more prevalent in all of our lives, we hope that this will continue.
We also have plenty of exciting developments to come in the game itself, from AI training, to new cognitive training improvements, so stay tuned.