Head of Athletic Trainers
Bruno Dominici, Head of Athletic Trainers for the prestigious AC Milan, has been with the club for over 11 years, working with both the first and second teams.
“I am responsible for the Physical Trainers working with the athletes day to day and the overall fitness of our athletes.”
In this highly demanding role, Bruno has relied on athlete tracking technology since 2003, leading towards using Catapult to help monitor his elite athletes.
“The first time I heard about Catapult was about five years ago from a colleague, when researching athlete tracking devices to be used at AC Milan. “AC Milan has been using athlete tacking technology since about 2003, with a variety of different systems. AC Milan and I have chosen to work with Catapult and have been doing so for over two years now.”
As the Head of Athletic Trainers, Bruno Dominici has a unique use-case for injury analysis and rehabilitation.
“That is a good question; we especially use the system during the final phase of rehabilitation. We like to monitor parameters such as speed, heart rate, acceleration, deceleration, change of direction etc. “Everything that can relate to the injury.”
Less specifically, at AC Milan, enhancing performance through monitoring every training session is a vital way to better understand the demands of each athlete. “Monitoring the training sessions is one of the most important things from our point of view. The system allows us to ‘check’ and ‘control’ the loads of the players, and adapt training accordingly.
“During the pre-season we also ensure we have all of the technical and tactical information to make informed decisions.”
What does Bruno think is the most valuable aspect of football that needs quantifying?
“There is not one aspect of athlete tracking that is most important to us. For AC Milan it is important to present information that players and coaches understand. For example: PlayerLoad, high intensity running, number of sprints etc. “With the second team we strongly present information on acceleration and deceleration events. “Catapult plays a big part in educating everyone on how these two parameters in particular are an important component of the overall load of the athlete, and is more important than just knowing the total distance.”
Without revealing any data or monitoring tips, has the system shown anything you wouldn’t have been able to detect otherwise?
“Yes, it has. To answer the question ‘was training easy or hard’, the data we receive allows us to make a clear and informed decision as opposed to guessing as everyone is busy coaching during a session.” One way to determine how easy or hard the training session was is by dividing the total distance in to intensity levels. “High intensity running distance. It is OK to know the overall distance, but what component of that was spent in high intensity?”
Catapult also helped Bruno from a personal perspective, helping understanding the effect of training - even if he’s not there for the session.
“Using Catapult has made my job easier, in particular to understand the real training effect. “If I am not present for the training session, I can still know what they have achieved from a physical and loading point of view and not be influenced by what was seen on the field.”
Describe the benefits of the AC Milan culture from a perfomance monitoring standpoint.
“At AC Milan I love to work with technology like Catapult and to know and understand how the athletes are performing on the field. “With all of our data, if a new fitness coach was to arrive tomorrow, they will know exactly what the athletes have done and are capable of. “I also love the organization, the people and the training environment. We have everything we need here: fields, sand, uphill and downhill running, track and field, swimming pool, gym etc. “It is a great place to work.”