One sport known for its innovative performance analysis techniques and forward-thinking training staff is field hockey.
Catapult works with hockey teams in Australia, Europe, North America and South America and recently caught up the Head of Fitness for Argentina Hockey, Gabriel Figueiras, to find out the benefits of the system in a highly technical and physically-demanding sport.
When did you first hear about Catapult and from whom?
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 (Olympic Games). And the Australian women’s team was using the GPS. It was back then when I first saw this technology, and the Australian physiologist told me about Catapult!
How do you describe the technology to people that ask?
As “the deepest individualised analysis of an athlete available during the actual competition”. The system is very easy using and interpretation of its data.
What is the main reason you use the technology for?
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.
What are the biggest advantages of using Catapult that were previously impossible?
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
What does Catapult provide that you 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 you 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.
What is the one metric you find most important?
We profile our players´ high speed efforts, accelerations and PlayerLoad during short periods of time, during games and training.
How has Catapult made your daily job easier?
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.