As bodies continue to evolve physically, Mamba Sports Academy believes the next frontier of athletic performance is cognition.
With that foundational belief, the company – owned by Kobe Bryant, along with former Kansas State football captain Chad Faulkner – is launching the first product from its incubator, Mamba Sports Venture Lab, called Mamba RISE. Mamba RISE is a mobile app providing athletes an opportunity to work on their cognitive abilities.
“We had the opportunity. to bring in a tech that has been developed over five years with pro-level athletes that have shown improvements in high-speed decision making,” said Jason Sada, Mamba Sports Venture Lab CEO. “They make extraordinary fast and accurate decisions and the way to do that is large volumes of repetitions with feedback, increasingly challenges with demands around the decision.”
The app will guide users through exercises to help improve their mental thought processes, helping improve the athlete’s response time and sports IQ.
Sada said the app is also adaptive and will release new content as users progress. There is also a competitive aspect to the app, as Sada said athletes generally exert their best efforts when winning is on the line. The Mamba RISE app is a subscription-based service, which is accessible to the general public.
The app is meant to help athletes solve constraints of full-blown athletic and team-based situational training and help develop an otherwise overlooked aspect of training, Sada said.
“As the body continues to be refined, cognition is an incredibly important tool,” he said. “The assumption here is that the athlete always continues to develop physical skills and wellness, so cognition is the frontier because we know that expertise is developed through high repetitions and the body is limited in the reps you can get.
“We believe the app can help leverage training the body at maximum capacity.”
While Mamba Sports Academy does have pro and college partnerships with a similar product, those are specifically tailored to the teams. The app is meant for amateur athletes working their way to that level, Sada said.
“We’ve taken protocols that can help elite athletes and identify which will help young athletes,” Sada said. “A young athlete can develop a robust cognitive system, but the key is making sure it’s meaningful to the performance as a young athlete.”
Mamba RISE launched with a focus on baseball, softball football and volleyball – all sports used in the development of a cognitive training system for professional athletes the past five years. Sada said the research and development took thousands of hours working with athletes of all levels, including elite professionals. By the end of the year, Mamba RISE will also include basketball, and soccer as testing is finished, and other sports are also in development, he said. Bryant has been involved in the development of the app and has been critical in the rollout, Sada said.
Additionally, Mamba brought on Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, volleyball player Simone Lee and softball player Lauren Chamberlain as spokespeople.
Alonso, who’s crushed 47 homers and on pace for 53 as a rookie this year, said Mamba RISE has the ability to help hitters at all levels of the game, even fellow professionals.
Sada said the app gives athletes a way to improve their performance without hammering their body physically, a sentiment Lee echoes.
“The benefits of Mamba RISE were clear to me,” Lee said. “It’s clean, it’s fun, and most of all, I feel like it really offers a new way to improve your game without taking a toll on your body.”
The ambassadors are used to introduce their sport within the app, which Sada said should help athletes recognize the cognitive function within sports.
“They’re the personification of what it looks like at elite levels and we want users to understand the value of the tool,” Sada said. “These folks are all high performers at their craft, not just with physical tools, but innovative in how they’re using their brains in how they train and perform.”