AI in sports has become a hot topic, with many coaches concerned about the impact of advanced technologies like ChatGPT on coaching. This article addresses these concerns and demonstrates how coaches can not only stay relevant but thrive in the age of AI. Discover 3 strategies for integrating ChatGPT and other AI tools into your coaching practice while maintaining your irreplaceable expertise and value.

A sports coach instructing athletes, emphasizing the importance of human expertise in the age of ChatGPT and AI revolution.

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As AI in sports continues to evolve, sports coaches are starting to ask questions and having concerns about how it will affect their profession. Some of the most common concerns include:


  • Will AI replace human coaches?
  • Can AI provide accurate and up-to-date information?
  • How can coaches stay competitive in an AI-driven world?

Let’s address these concerns and discover practical strategies for sports coaches to collaborate with AI and differentiate themselves in a rapidly changing landscape.

Understanding ChatGPT and Its Relevance to Sports Coaches

As a sports coach, you might wonder what ChatGPT is and how it could potentially impact your profession. ChatGPT is an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, which can generate human-like text based on a given prompt. It can be utilized for various purposes, such as answering questions and assisting in the creation of practice and training schedules.

While ChatGPT has the potential to provide valuable insights and streamline certain aspects of coaching, it’s essential to recognize its limitations and areas where human coaches can still excel.

Coach's Knowledge vs ChatGPT's Data

A comparison infographic illustrating the differences between a coach's knowledge and ChatGPT's data in sports coaching.
A comparison illustrating the differences between a coach's knowledge and ChatGPT's data in sports coaching.

ChatGPT uses a wide range of sources, such as books, articles, academic papers, and websites, to learn and generate its responses. However, its data is only updated until 2021. This means that, while it can provide a quick overview of a topic or a general answer to a question, it might not have the latest information on certain subjects.

ChatGPT itself does raise a couple of concerns about its own learning method. It admits that it can be affected by inaccurate or biased information, simply because not all its sources (e.g. the internet) provide information that is 100% true. It just generates the next most likely word in an answer, without actually understanding the information itself.

Since ChatGPT is not able to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources, it’s essential for coaches to verify any information obtained from ChatGPT before implementing it in their coaching. This can be challenging since some errors are difficult to notice because they are hidden in reasonable-sounding answers.

Example of incorrect information, provided by ChatGPT. The energy production above anaerobic threshold is not necessarily “primarily anaerobic (without oxygen)”. An educated coach is able to filter these inaccuracies.

Example of energy contribution: aerobic vs anaerobic. This example athlete has an anaerobic threshold at 410 watts. Contrary to what ChatGPT claims, the aerobic energy production is still highly dominant (92%) at threshold.

The fact that ChatGPT is currently based on data up to 2021 is something to keep in mind when learning about topics in which we recently gained new insights. Or topics that were misunderstood in the past, like the role of lactate or the exact definition of the anaerobic threshold. ChatGPT does not have updated information about these concepts.

We’re not saying human coaches don’t make mistakes. However, being able to implement the latest knowledge is, and has always been, a way for coaches to distinguish themselves from others. Learn more about INSCYD education platform.

  • COLLABORATE 💡 – Coaches can use ChatGPT for a quick overview of a topic or a general answer to a question.
  • DIFFERENTIATE 🚀 – Coaches can differentiate themselves from AI by maintaining an up-to-date and robust educational foundation, enabling them to spot inaccuracies.

While AI tools like ChatGPT can provide quick answers, they lack the intuition and critical thinking that a human coach possesses. Coaches can make informed decisions based on their experience and understanding of the athlete’s unique needs, which is AI cannot replicate.

Stay ahead in the coaching game by enhancing your expertise and knowledge with the help of INSCYD’s team of experts. Coaches and labs, seize this opportunity to book a free 1:1 call with our experts in your native language and discover how to elevate your coaching practice. Athletes, don’t miss out on the chance to find your INSCYD coach or lab, tailored to your individual needs. 

Can ChatGPT create training programs like human coaches?

A comparison of ChatGPT-generated training programs and human coach-guided training programs, highlighting the limitations of AI-generated plans and the advantages of human coach expertise in sports coaching.

When you ask ChatGPT to create a training program, you can get pretty detailed results. Chances are that these programs are as good as a standard one-size-fits-all training program that you would previously need to pay for. If you are a coach selling these standard training programs, ChatGPT is a serious competitor.

Athletes can even provide personal data like “I’m 40 years old” and “My FTP is 250 watts”, to get a more individualized training program.  However, this requires the athlete to know which metrics influence a training program. If you add “My 1RM squat equals 150kg” you can’t expect additional value for a triathlon training program. 

This again shows the importance of being well educated yourself: the more you know, the more value you can get from an AI chatbot like ChatGPT. On the other hand: garbage in equals garbage out.

Keep in mind though, that even if you do add valuable data to your query, that doesn’t mean ChatGPT uses this information wisely. When your query becomes too specific, AI can start to make up information. This is called hallucination: without having the knowledge it simply creates an answer that it finds likely. Here’s an example:

Example of questionable information, provided by ChatGPT. A VLamax of 0.8 mmol/l/s may sound as a low number to an AI chatbot with no knowledge about VLamax, but it is much too high for a marathon runner, rather than too low. ChatGPT continues with a training program that includes intervals to increase VLamax. This will harm the performance instead of improving it!

While AI can generate generalized training programs, they may not always be accurate or tailored to individual athletes. A human coach’s expertise in analyzing physiological performance metrics and adapting training programs is still unmatched by AI.

It’s the job of a coach to know which physiological performance metrics influence a training program. It’s also the job of a coach to analyze these physiological performance metrics, evaluate how they trend over time, and adapt a training program accordingly. After all, you don’t want to waste time on ineffective training.

An article in Current Sports Medicine Reports discusses the general sports training principle of individualization. According to the article, individualization involves the modification of training to account for an athlete’s unique capacity for and response to training.  By taking these factors into account, individualization can significantly improve athletic performance by accounting for individual differences among athletes (Kasper, K. (2019). Sports Training Principles. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 18(4), 95-96.)

Since ChatGPT is not able to connect with a data source like INSCYD, it is not able to tailor a training program like that. INSCYD coaches know the added value of having metabolic data like the lactate recovery and accumulation rate, to create highly individual interval training for a training program.

  • COLLABORATE 💡 – Athletes who don’t have a clue where to start can use ChatGPT to create a training program, instead of buying a similar one-size-fits-all training program. 
  • DIFFERENTIATE 🚀 – Coaches who want to create a more effective training program can add significant value by measuring, tracking and implementing metabolic data to create personalized training plans for athletes.

Coaches, differentiate yourself from AI by incorporating metabolic data to create highly effective training plans for your athletes. Stay on top of your game and outperform AI-generated programs with the power of human intuition, experience, and adaptability. Athletes don’t settle for generic one-size-fits-all plans—experience the benefits of a highly individualized training program designed by an INSCYD coach or lab.

Will artificial intelligence (AI) replace a human coach?

Comparison infographic highlighting the unique advantages of human coaches over AI in sports coaching, including empathy, emotional support, and adaptability to individual needs.
Comparison infographic highlighting the unique advantages of human coaches over AI in sports coaching, including empathy, emotional support, and adaptability to individual needs.

Some AI tools are able to import, analyze, and implement training data, which is a significant benefit for AI chatbots like ChatGPT. While AI is continually improving, at this point, coaches still have advantages over AI tools.

A human coach can put data into context and empathize with an athlete. They can adjust a training program by reading between the lines, taking into account personal circumstances that may limit time or motivation. A coach can also offer emotional support, build trust, and provide guidance in complex situations.

Based on the research “The coach-athlete partnership” by Jowett and Cockerill (2002), the coach-athlete relationship is considered to be particularly crucial. It is the foundation of coaching and provides the means by which coaches’ and athletes’ needs are expressed and fulfilled. The coach and the athlete intentionally develop a relationship, which is characterized by a growing appreciation and respect for each other as individuals. Additionally, the article cites several previous studies that support the finding that the coach-athlete relationship is an important determinant of athlete satisfaction.

Building this trust usually comes from an emotional connection and a proven expertise. In our education platform, INSCYD coach Philipp Seipp spends a full webinar talking about this specific topic. 

  • COLLABORATE 💡 – If in the future you can import the right (metabolic) data into an AI tool, this tool should theoretically be able to learn from it and get better at creating training programs.
  • DIFFERENTIATE 🚀 – Coaches who are able to be trustworthy via an emotional connection and a proven expertise have a unique selling point over AI.

Human coaches can go beyond the data to connect with their athletes on a personal level, understanding their emotions, motivation, and individual circumstances. This allows them to create training programs that are not only effective but also tailored to each athlete’s specific needs, an aspect that AI like ChatGPT cannot achieve.

AI in Sports Coaching: Conclusion

We’ve discussed ways coaches can benefit from using AI tools like ChatGPT and how human sports coaches can add value beyond what AI currently offers. To summarize, here are three ways coaches can outperform ChatGPT or any AI tool:


  1. Continuously educate yourself and stay up-to-date. This enables you  to detect inaccuracies in AI generated information and training programs. In The World of INSCYD you can find several interesting and free white papers and webinars, covering the most important sport topics.
  2. Measure, track and implement metabolic data of your athlete. This allows you to see whether your training program is effective and tailor training in a way AI is currently not able to do. The INSCYD test enables you to gather metabolic data, even if you don’t have a lab.
  3. Build trust via a human connection with your athletes. Empathy and proven expertise play a big role here. Learn from the world’s best coaches via the INSCYD education platform.

Don’t let the AI revolution outpace you. Elevate your coaching with INSCYD’s expertise, creating personalized training programs and fostering strong athlete relationships. Time is running out – schedule a free consultation with our experts now! Athletes, secure your INSCYD coach or lab before it’s too late. Embrace the future of coaching and stay ahead in the game!

Showcase the unique benefits of human coaching in an AI-driven world. Share this article with your athletes and coaches – let them know how coaches can enhance their coaching practice and outperform ChatGPT and other AI.


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