Head of Fitness
Gabriel Figueiras, Head of Fitness for Argentina Hockey National teams (both the men’s and women’s teams) and Fitness Coordinator at St. Catherine’s hockey club, first heard about Catapult in a pre-Olympic tournament in 2007.
“In Beijing with the Lionesses [Argentina’s women’s national team], we were invited to play in a tournament called ‘Good Luck Beijing’ to test all the facilities for the following year [2008 Beijing Olympics].
“And the Australian women’s team was using the Catapult GPS system. It was back then when I first saw this technology, and the Australian physiologist told me about Catapult!”
Since that time, Figueiras has become highly proficient with the system, implementing a detailed analysis program on three separate field hockey teams.
Now when asked about Catapult from someone seeing it for the first time, he describes it as “the deepest individualised analysis of an athlete available during the actual competition. The system is very easy using and interpretation of its data.”
For Figueiras, the most vital aspect is to better understand the demands of each individual athlete he is training.
“Nothing is more important to me than deeply knowing every one of my players.
“And the demands that each one of them has, according to their playing position on the field, and the tactical system planned by the coaches.
“Based on these demands, I plan (jointly with the coach) our specific technical training, thus being able to quantify our players’ loads.”
With a number one FIH ranking, Argentina’s women’s national field hockey team has won a medal at each of the past four Olympics, and use the Catapult data understand demands for each individual athlete.
The Lionesses were the first women’s team in any sport to win an Olympic medal for their country, and have won an amazing four Hockey Champions Trophies since their first title in 2001.
At the continental level, Argentina has dominated and won every tournament they’ve played, including the Pan American Cup and the Pan American Games.
Asked what the biggest advantages of using Catapult are that were previously impossible, Figueiras replied: “I will single out, as the most important advantage (previously impossible to measure for us) knowing each player’s demands for maximum performance during the competition, through the features of the system.”
And what does Catapult provide Figueiras that Argentina hockey can’t get elsewhere?
“The convenience and practicality of use, whenever I want.
“But above all, since in field hockey it can be used in competition, I can deeply know the demands placed for each capacity and energy system used during the competition itself.”
Without revealing any data, has the technology revealed anything Figueiras wouldn’t have been able to detect otherwise?
“Yes! Using the real time feature, we were able to evaluate our players during different training and game situations and identify each players´ thresholds and markers of fatigue.
With this information, we are now moving from planning rotations in advance (arbitrarily), to an optimised rotations system, which allows us to maximise our players´ performance.”
On top of his regular work with both Argentina national teams, Figueiras also works full-time with St.
Catherine‘s hockey club - a leading club team in South America.
At the domestic level, Figueiras plays around with his fitness monitoring applications, profiling “our players’ high speed efforts, accelerations and PlayerLoad during short periods of time, during games and training.”
Being able to measure these previously-unobtainable parameters has greatly improved the efficiency of Figuiras’ daily work.
“We now know with great detail the physical and physiological performance of each player.
“Catapult allows us to plan and quantify the training loads for future training sessions, providing loads quantifying the planned for future training.
“With its real time we can see how PlayerLoads are during each drill, and what variables determine each player´s loads.”