Originally from Amsterdam, Laura Du Ry played professional football for seven years as a goalkeeper, mainly in the Dutch women’s league, Vrouwen Eredivisie. She is proud of her time with AFC Ajax and the Dutch national team (2011-2013) and has also been an acrobatic and reliable goalkeeper for ADO Den Haag and PEC Zwolle, as well as for Belgian Standard de Liège. of the UEFA Champions League.
During the game, Ry, now 29, studied at Hogeschool van Amsterdam and obtained her BA in Sports Marketing and Business Economics from Johan Cruyff University, an institute that caters to athletes and other professionals in the sports industry. sport. Upon her retirement, she spent time at Under Armor as a financial consultant in Amsterdam, followed by two years at RocketX Group, a technology startup accelerator.
In this role, Du Ry met David Dwinger, the founder of Jogo, a Dutch company that creates a football-focused sensor affixed to the insole of a shoe that tracks physical and technical performance. Du Ry joined in January 2021 and is now responsible for the company’s marketing. Jogo recently held a Kickstarter because it is looking to enter the US market after its release, possibly at the end of the year. For starters, its target demographic is 9 to 16 year olds, whether they are academy or grassroots players.
Work at Jogo. . .
David, the founder, was my client at my old company, which was a startup helping other startups with funding, recruiting, and sales marketing. He told me about Jogo, and I fell in love instantly because it’s tech and a startup and it’s football, three of my passions. After six months as a client, I had a conversation with him and decided, “Okay, that’s a good choice. I want to be part of this great journey. So I jumped on it pretty quickly. I just started working with him and building since, almost a year now.
On his early interest in technology. . .
I was one of the first kids to have an iPod or an iPad, and it all developed from there. I’ve always liked this stuff, very basic. But when I was growing up my first real job in sales and marketing was with a fintech company. It was the moment
Du Ry was an accomplished guardian who from a young age was intrigued by technology.
where I saw the added value of technology for people and how cool it was. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of startups in the tech world and see how it all works – and how they actually change the way we do things, fundamentally, and are disruptive. So I think the main thing I love about technology is that it has the ability to change the way we work, think, and do for the better. And that’s really cool.
On athlete-centered data collection. . .
When I played we used to wear GPS systems and get data, but it was never really our The data. So if I wanted to know anything about it, I would have to go to my performance specialist and ask him, “Hey, how did I play today? Which I found quite boring, because I wanted to review my own performance when I had time and was ready for it.
The big difference now is that from an early age you can actually capture your own data, and you can keep it with you over time and see if you’ve grown or not, but also find improvements to make. And that removes that barrier that you always need to have a trainer or analyst to help you do it. You’re doing it yourself now, and I think that’s the big difference from what we’re doing here.
On vocational training with Jogo. . .
The sensors, at least the first set, [focus] more on sprint speed and distance traveled and touches of the ball, so more on the basics. Eventually one of the things we’ll likely see is that if you play a whole 90 minutes you’ll get tired by the end of it, and the data could validate that because your sprints might have been slower. But you can also measure the time on the ball. So if you feel like you’re not making quick decisions or actually slowing the game down, our data can validate it.
First, the data is a validation of your own feelings and experiences. And the second thing that we want to integrate into the system is that we offer you exercises based on sports science and also based on technical understanding to help you improve. So if the data says, “OK, you spend a lot of time on the ball, which probably slows down the whole game because you’re not really moving forward,” you might need to do some drills to improve your touch or improve. your decision. manufacturing. So obviously that’s a long way to go. But that’s where we plan to go.
On the operation of the sensors. . .
There is a sensor that goes into the insole, and it’s an IMU sensor. It’s an accelerometer, and basically our smart data scientists are trying to figure out, “OK, what’s the impact of speed on me? Is it a quick pass? ‘ There is still work to be done for the data team. The material itself is completely finished, but we still have to work on it, which is not the easiest task.
We are aiming for December to have our first release. We’ve probably taken a step before that, which we’ll be using with some clubs here in the Netherlands to test, just to get some real user feedback before we go into production. But December should be doable.
Du Ry was a 7-year-old professional in the Netherlands and a two-time member of the Dutch national team.
On his experience in football. . .
My father played, my two brothers played. I was four years old when I joined the club, very young. I never stopped playing until I couldn’t. I really fell in love with the game. For as long as I can remember I had the ball on my feet, I was always running playing, I was trying things. Just pure love for the game. I really think the goalie is right for me. I also like the pressure, the stress that comes with it.
I played seven years professionally in the Netherlands and spent two years with the national team. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make my debut as a goalkeeper, it was a bit more difficult. And just before playing my first game, I got injured. So some bad luck there. But still very lucky to be able to play with the greats of the national team.
On the other training tech she was using as a player. . .
We had heart monitors, which were helpful in seeing if you were tired or not. And the most important thing has always been, if you were to go into the red line, how long would it take to sort of go back to green? To see if you’re in good shape or not.
We did a lot of testing at the start and then mid-season and the end of the season to see, “What’s your starting point and have you improved? It’s more speed tests – going through those cameras on the sides – and they’re measuring your first five yards, ten yards, 50 yards.
We did some testing at Ajax because they’re pretty advanced there in determining your jump height and your stability with your ankles and all that sort of thing. But these were often only used mid-season and not all year round. So, yeah, that’s also something we’re looking at: capturing data all year round instead of just those times.
Jogo’s sockliner sensors measure sprint speed, distance traveled and touch of the ball.
On Jogo’s product roadmap. . .
We are always so busy, because we have the sensor part. But we also have what we call our skill homework, which is basically doing exercises, and we have computer vision that goes on top of that. We also want to allow that if you are training at home and filming yourself, we can take action from that.
A good example would be: we are talking to a company of physiotherapists, and they are doing an exercise that helps players in their recovery process. They jump on a box, then the physiotherapist will look at the differences all the time, but it’s always with the naked eye. What we want to do is, because you’re filming it, we can measure the differences and give them a rating or a rating from that.