There’s a current trend in soccer of players wearing sports bras under their skin-tight jerseys. It’s got nothing to do with suddenly being self conscious about man can or salami nips.
The undergarments are next-level tech, according to Gear Patrol, and contain “highly accurate and advanced GPS tracker. These monitors track each player and provide coaches and trainers “access to data that they previously couldn’t have dreamed of, including speed, distance covered and overall wear and tear on the athlete.”
Created by Catapult Sports, these monitors are “fitness trackers on steroids”, and top clubs like Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are all using the system.
“Most GPS watches only record at one hertz. So one time per second. If you think of what an elite athlete can do in one second, it’s pretty significant,” said Ryan Warkins, Director of Business Operations for Catapult, the company at the helm of this technology. Collecting data one time per second is inaccurate — especially when tracking superstar athletes like Thomas Müller or Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Catapult system tracks at 10Hz. “So you’re getting ten data points per second. You’re getting a much more refined system to increase the accuracy.” Catapult also uses both GPS and GLONASS for more accurate tracking.
The fascinating part about the entire experiment in real time human tracking is the way teams are using the information to train players even before the game starts.
The training staffs tailor sessions for individual players with specific goals in mind. The Catapult system uses a metric called player load, or overall explosive movement, which is measured by accelerometers. “It measures the volume of work,” Warkins said. “You can then look at your practice and see where your athletes are expending the most energy.” In other words, if it’s the day before a game and you only want your players to train at 50 percent, you can actually see the data and make sure that they adhere to the restriction.
Monitoring output is also keeping players from getting injured from overwork and keeping them on track when rehabbing an injury.
According to Warkins, the risk of injury goes up drastically once a player runs 12 mph or faster. When a player is just starting to get back into training, “you can look at how often they’re doing that, how often they are exposed to that risk and how often that happens during gameplay,” said Warkins. You can then, in real time, tell the player to slow down or reduce his work rate to mitigate risks of further injury.
For now, the manzeer is the best option for outfitting athletes with the tracking devices because, the closer the monitors are to the body, the better.
[via Gear Patrol]