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Dave Hancock

Director of Conditioning


When he was with Chelsea in the English Premier League, Dave Hancock used athlete tracking to provide data on some key performance metrics.

But Dave knows basketball is a whole other ball game from those running field sports such as soccer and football. The activities are fundamentally different; whilst in football codes the players have quite specific positions, in basketball player positioning is a lot more fluid. In basketball, ‘how far’ an athlete runs or ‘where’ he runs is only a small part of the equation. For the New York Knicks, Catapult provides some very basketball specific information in terms of a player’s accumulated workload. Vital data on impact, accelerations and decelerations, direction changes, jumping and free running.

You might think that given the relatively small court area, cameras would capture all the action in a basketball game, but cameras miss the micromovements and athlete well-being data that proves most important over a long season.

Catapult provides unlimited answers by enabling you to choose from an array of metrics that give you the complete picture of how hard your guys are working, and allowing objective comparison between players and what it’s costing them to produce this effort.

From physiological parameters like heart rate to comparisons between vertical (jumping) workload and horizontal (court movement), you’ll better understand the workloads of your players, without relying on subjective observation.

Consider this: basketball athletes generally weigh in at 100kg plus. The team roster is also typically much smaller than a football squad. Add to that the fact they’re playing three times a week on a hard court in the roughest non-contact sport in the world, and you’ll realize why the Knicks need all the relevant data on player condition they can get.

Catapult wearable athlete tracking technology provides the tools and data across key performance metrics that allow Dave Hancock to apply some hard science to their practice regimes. You simply can’t measure the work rate of today’s dynamic basketball teams without these tools. Athletic Trainers and Strength and Conditioning Coaches need to be able to manage the players’ fitness and conditioning so they can achieve optimum performance on the court. 

Between games, a big part of the challenge is managing the intensity and volume of each player’s training sessions. The Catapult system quantifies your periodization model, which supplies the information needed in order to achieve the right balance of driving player performance improvements while simultaneously understanding the effects of fatigue. It can identify when a player hits the ‘wall’ which is an indicator of when to decrease the intensity of their training.

As a scrimmage tool in practice, the New York Knicks are able to run a series of sets and compare those that work with those that didn’t. From the OptimEye data, which provides detailed and easy to follow play analysis, they can better understand why a play failed. This enables them to apply changes to the practice drills - sometimes the simplest change can have dramatic effects come game day. 

They can track individual player data as they practice and can very quickly pick up on a player who isn’t quite achieving desirable performance. It is scientific data that lets them compare from one training session to the next, or over the course of the season. Further, if a player has been with them for an extended time, they can even track performance against where he was at any stage the previous season. In addition, Catapult’s newest technology, Inertial Movement Analysis (IMA) allows measurement of the number and magnitude of changes of direction, accelerations and decelerations, free running and jumping events.

By tripling the amount of basketball relevant data available, IMA will make a huge difference across a season. Dave Hancock puts it simply, “In my position as Director of Training and Conditioning, I rely on Catapult OptimEye to help optimize each player’s performance and the overall team performance of the New York Knicks”.