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Starting Block

In our sport, we need to provide athletes with every possible advantage. If there’s a tool or technology that can shave 1/100th of a second off of our athlete’s time, it can mean the difference in winning a gold medal. It’s imperative that we provide data to our athletes and coaches as fast as possible to improve their training and competition. Technology we use must be portable, adaptable, and flexible. Combining technology and water is a big challenge and we’re looking for startups that can develop these unique solutions. USA Swimming is a fertile ground for entrepreneurs who want to bring out the top level of performance for our athletes.


Matt Barbini

National Team Director of Performance, USA Swimming

Matt has been at USA Swimming in the National Team Division since 2012 and currently serves as the National Team Director of Performance. He is responsible for coordinating all National Team athlete and coach performance services with the primary goal of helping USA Swimming achieve success at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Matt also assists with long-term program development and strategy, athlete and coach selection, resource allocation, and USOPC collaboration. A native of Massachusetts, Matt swam collegiately at Boston College where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. He also earned a graduate degree in Sport Management from the University of Texas.

Dan McCarthy

High Performance Manager, USA Swimming

Dan McCarthy is a High Performance Manager for the USA Swimming National Team Division. Dan has been with the National Team since 2008 and with USA Swimming since 2005. Currently he is responsible for the National Team Blood Chemistry program, managing athlete health and performance programs, collaborating on competition analytics with the High Performance staff at USA Swimming and also hosts USA Swimming’s Kick Set podcast.

Joel Shinofield

Managing Director of Sport Development, USA Swimming

Joel Shinofield is responsible for overseeing the Sport Development Division within the Technical Business Unit and executing a strategic plan that enhances the development and education of athletes, coaches, clubs, and Local Swimming Committees (LSC) across all levels of the sport in the U.S. In his role, Shinofield supports the growth of the sport at all levels and connects swimming stakeholders from grassroots to competitive levels. He leads efforts to advance organizational initiatives promoting membership growth and retention. Shinofield oversees, grows and supports USA Swimming member clubs, including membership retention and new club acquisition. He will also endeavor to advance coach leadership and education.

MJ Truex

Senior Director, Education & Programs

MJ has been with USA Swimming since 2005, holding various roles within both the National Team and Sport Development Divisions. MJ spent her first quad working as part of National Team’s High-Performance Services where she worked closely with the National Team athletes and coaches. MJ moved to Sport Development after the 2008 Beijing Games and served as a Sports Performance Consultant for the next quad. She visited numerous teams across the country delivering “wet side” educational information (nutrition, technique, race stats, goal setting, etc.). In 2012 MJ transitioned into the role that put her on the Education and Programming path where she took over managing various programs and educational resources such as online education, camps, video projects, website educational delivery, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. As Senior Director of Education & Programs, the main areas MJ oversees is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and USA Swimming’s educational properties including coach, athlete, and parent education.

Innovation Focus

Athlete/Player Performance

Gone are the days where basic exercise, fitness, and pre-game preparation was limited to stretching and the weight room. Today, through a rapid expansion of tech and innovation, players are better equipped with options to get faster, more fit, and ready for gametime. We seek to invest in platforms and products that help players perform at their ultimate best.

Team & Coach Success

The coach-player relationship is increasingly being impacted by new development around advanced applications, sensors, and wearables. It’s allowing teams to understand, track, and analyze player performance and stats like never before. In addition, new AR/VR applications are helping teams train and video analytics can track and improve play. Predictive decision-making software is greatly changing the way teams are managed and organized.

Venue & Event Innovation

Because fans can watch sports virtually anywhere, stadiums are being built with the latest technology enhancements that can create an unparalleled gameday experience. Now, they’re catching up to the changes in technology to create smart stadiums that are thinking about scheduling, ticketing and merchandising in new, innovative ways. Increasingly, as consumers are also seeing ways that teams are thinking about cybersecurity to protect consumers from ticketing to in-game purchases.

Fan/Player Engagement

The way fans consume sports is changing. With increasing demand for multichannel entertainment and more personalized interactions with both teams and players, fans are getting closer to the action and real-time engagement before and after sporting events. Younger, mobile generations are consuming more and more content on smartphones. Every technology innovation has the opportunity to change and influence the way we experience sports.

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