MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB
GPS Load Analyst
One example of the game-changing nature of the Catapult system in elite sport, and how its data is being used by designated staff, is GPS Load Analyst at the Australian Football League’s Melbourne Demons: Katy Mouritz.
Katy is a highly skilled sports scientist that understands GPS technology inside-out, having used Catapult the last four years with the Demons after using another athlete tracking provider.
“I first heard about the technology from a Sports Scientist at another AFL club. At the time, the Demons were using a different company’s GPS technology.
“It was very exciting when we upgraded to the superior product provided by Catapult”.
Like the other 16 AFL clubs that use the system to monitor player performance, the Demons rely on the objective data for analysing player movement - an aspect of Catapult that greatly assists Katy’s work.
“The main benefit of the technology for my work is the ability to gain accurate and detailed quantitative/objective data relating to player movement and the capacity to analyse and apply this data with ease”.
Having already dealt with athlete monitoring technology prior to working with Catapult, Katy believes the system offers a lot that can’t be found elsewhere.
“Catapult provides a sports GPS product that is currently second to none. The products they provide are constantly evolving and improving, ensuring they stay at the top of the industry and are cutting-edge.
“The customer support they provide is also top-notch, fixing any issues that may arise and providing servicing and unit replacements promptly as well as implementing client recommendations and considering feedback”.
With offices in Australia, the UK and the US, support around the clock is a big feature of using Catapult, allowing clients to be a vital cog in the development of the technology. It is feedback like Katy’s, therefore, that speeds up the evolution.
Without revealing any data, Katy is open with the advantages of the technology in detecting instances that would’ve been otherwise missed.
“The system has enabled us to detect discrepancies in our training loads as well as enhancing training specificity, both of which we would not have been able to do with such accuracy or detail on a quantitative level without this technology.
“It has also been crucial in assisting with the program development, implementation, and tracking of an athlete’s successful transition from rehab to full-training and eventually returning to playing matches”.
And what is the most important aspect of the Catapult system for the Melbourne Football Club?
“Of most importance to us is the breakdown of movement in different velocity bands. This has enabled us to have a better understanding of the movement intensity of training and matches which, in some cases, has prompted us to alter our approach to training/conditioning”.
With so much experience in the field, Katy understands the technology as well as anyone in the world, but is always open to assisting other sports scientists in getting their heads around what Catapult offers.
“In layman’s terms the GPS technology Catapult has developed is similar to that of a car’s sat nav GPS system only far smaller, more accurate and sophisticated.
“It uses satellites to pinpoint the location of the unit and can then determine measures such as speed and distance from the change in location of the unit. Each unit also consists of other instruments, including an accelerometer, which enhance the accuracy of the GPS data and also provide other data for analysis such as acceleration measurements.
“When worn with a compatible heart rate monitor, heart rate data is also received and can be analysed in context with movement data”.
Helping to drive the innovation of athlete analytics, Katy is most looking forward to the implementation of Catapult’s SmartBall in AFL matches, the ClearSky system being used in arenas with a roof like Etihad Stadium, and the new OpenField software - “enabling even more complex data analysis as well as the ability to input individualised algorithms”.