Tigers Director Of Performance Georgia Giblin Helps Players Hit, Run And Throw More Efficiently

Image credit: Georgia Giblin (Courtesy Detroit Tigers)

Georgia Giblin always knew she would work in sports.

Growing up in Geelong, southeast of Melbourne in Australia, Giblin had long been fascinated by the sports science and technology boom taking place across professional athletics. 

“I wasn’t specifically looking to get into baseball,” Giblin said. “I was moreso looking just to get into professional sports in the United States.”

Giblin immersed herself in the Australian Olympic sports system, working with track and field, archery, water polo and triathlon athletes. 

“In the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics, I started working with our national softball team and really enjoyed that,” Giblin said. “I certainly wasn’t looking to get into baseball. 

“It just so happened that baseball is going through this tech boom right now, and biomechanics and sports science are a big part of that. So it was just really good timing for me.”

After completing her undergrad in exercise and sports science, Giblin joined a year-long biomechanics internship at the Australian Institute of Sport. She then embarked on PhD studies at Victoria University in Melbourne.

“When I was doing my undergrad, I found out that I really liked the biomechanics aspect of sports science,” Giblin said. “(But) I didn’t necessarily have a set sport in mind.”

Giblin spent three and a half years working in with Tennis Australia as a portion of her PhD studies. 

A friend encouraged Giblin to look into a post-doc program with the University of Michigan. 

“(My friend) suggested that if I wanted to get into professional sports, that would be a good first step,” Giblin said. 

Around that same time, Tigers co-vice president and assistant general manager Jay Sartori had contacted Michigan to discuss a partnership in sports science. 

“(The Tigers) wanted to get into performance science and they wanted to use those resources that they have close by,” Giblin said. “The idea being: The Tigers wanted a biomechanist but didn’t necessarily know what that entailed.

“So I was employed with the post-doc through the University of Michigan, but I spent most of my time working with the Tigers.”

A year later, the Tigers offered Giblin a job as the organization’s director of performance science.

“It’s a tough one to explain to friends and family,” Giblin laughed, “but I guess the 10,000-foot view is that I manage a lot of the technology that we use to assess how players move, how they throw, how they swing the bat, how they run. 

“(That way) we can identify potential areas of inefficiency that they can get better at—but also areas that they excel at and can leverage to perform better.” 

With her role still viewed as relatively new in baseball, Giblin is using the platform to take her knowledge of the Australian sports science system and tie it to advancements in U.S. athletics.

“If you look around (MLB), you’ll actually find a lot of Australians and a lot of Europeans in high-performance roles, whether it’s biomechanics, physiology, skill acquisition—any of the types of roles that fall under sports science,” Giblin said. 

“And that’s typically just because those countries are a little bit further ahead. I mean, I think the United States is catching up at an incredible rate.”

Giblin values her ability to communicate directly with Tigers players.

“I can be in the cage and I can see the athletes and work with the athletes on a daily basis,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing those moments when something clicks for one of the players and you can help guide them and provide information that potentially helps them understand themselves, or how they move a little bit better.” 

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