UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
High Performance Manager
University of Kentucky High Performance Manager, Erik Korem, has been using Catapult athlete monitoring for over four years - taking the system in his move from Florida State after hearing about it from John Quinn of AFL’s Greater Western Sydney Giants.
“I wanted to know what our players were actually doing and not just conceptualizing what I thought they were doing. So we really had a need for knowing what the requirements of the game were so we could actually meet those requirements and develop the players to meet those requirements. “And then we could give objective data back to the coaches on what the players were doing, instead of just subjectively looking at what our players were doing. We wanted to objectively analyze the game”.
Using objective data to monitor the performance of athletes, and the whole team, the Wildcats can see what practice is costing them. “The biggest advantage we get is that we can look at the cost of training. So every time we step on the field and train, there’s a physiological cost to what we’re doing, and when you know that cost you can make more intelligent decisions on how you’re going to train and recover your athletes”.
Using that data over time can also provide valuable insight in to the development of an athlete, especially at the collegiate level. “I’m looking forward to developing the athletes year after year. So, looking at the data of a guy when he comes in as a freshman and then looking at what happens when he’s a senior – and seeing how our training protocol is based off the data improves their sporting results, so we can actually point to hard numbers and say ‘yes, we’re developing athletes and that development is leading to on-the-field performance’”.
Working closely with Catapult the past few seasons, Erik understands the importance of a relationship with the brains behind the technology. “The support from Catapult is what I would call fanatical. They’re the reason I chose this company. “They’re always available via email or a Skype conversation, they’ll go out of their way to work with me whether it’s waking up at six or five o’clock their time. I don’t feel as if they’re halfway around the world, I feel as if they’re always available”.
It is this collaboration and feeback that proves Catapult to be a unique tool in performance monitoring.“Catapult provides a product that you just can’t get anywhere else. “I’ve looked at every single product out there and I feel more comfortable with the reliability and the validity of what they’re offering. The customer support and the product itself is far superior than anything on the market.”
Despite a different approach to athlete development than the head coach, Catapult is an all-encompassing tool that unifies a program. “We use the system as a total unit because there can’t be a differentiation from the tactical to the physical, so this has actually bridged the gap for us. “We’re all looking at the same information and making decisions together. Our Strength and Conditioning coaches will use it for development, but that’s all based off of game data. At the end of the day, it brings everybody on to the same page working together”.
Catapult can also be an eye-opener for monitoring athletes in a way not done previously. “There’s a whole lot of information I never would’ve had. Without Catapult we wouldn’t have been able to make the crucial decisions that helped our players be healthier and play better”.
Portable and wireless, the Catapult system is also totally customizable. “We come up with our own metrics – which is the cool thing about the Catapult data is that you can take it as far as you want to take it. So as you progress with the data, you can come up with your own metrics that you think are valuable to your team”.
It is working with clients like Erik that makes the two-way process of athlete analytics so rewarding. “Catapult is the bridge to get me to where I want to be. It gave me the opportunity to take abstract concepts and make them real life with real numbers. “And it’s given me the opportunity to be a High Performance Manager, which is a life long goal”.