Football coaches, soccer coaches, and lacrosse coaches have a lot in common. They all want the same things for their teams – to help their athletes develop, provide a safe environment for their players, and give their teams the best chance for success on the field.
At Catapult, we’ve worked with thousands of coaches all over the world. Everyday we hear stories about why coaches are looking to leverage athlete monitoring technology with their teams. We thought you’d like to hear some of the most common reasons why coaches are using GPS performance monitoring.
1. Reduce the risk of injury
Nothing can derail a successful season quicker than a few key injuries. That’s the cost to the team, but for the athlete, any time they are out is development time they are missing. For both coaches and athletes, it is crucial to minimize the risk of injuries as much as possible.
With metrics from their GPS performance monitoring system, coaches are able to use benchmarks they’ve established to determine when athletes are at a higher risk of injury. They can then tailor rest or training based on the athlete’s specific needs, and even prevent injuries before they occur.
2. GPS athlete monitoring provides a competitive advantage on the field
One of the most frequent comments we hear from coaches is that they feel their GPS athlete monitoring system gives them a leg up on their competition. How does it do that, you ask?
We’ve asked the same thing, and here’s what coaches are telling us. They say their performance tracking program allows them to:
- Focus on the needs of specific athletes and provide better individual development
- Structure more effective training sessions to keep their athletes fresh and engaged
- Design more informed off-season training programs
- Use performance data to make more informed coaching decisions in-game
When you develop better athletes, train them more effectively, and can make better tactical decisions when the game is on the line – you are giving yourself an advantage over your opponents.
3. Keep athletes at their best throughout the season
Coaches at all levels encounter the challenge of keeping their athletes at their best when it comes time for game day. It has long been a “gut-feel” decision for coaches to determine the training needs of their players throughout the season. Whether it is football, lacrosse, soccer, or any other sport – coaching is becoming both a science and an art.
Now coaching staffs are able to monitor Player Workloads in games and practices in order to alter their training schedules. As one soccer coach recently shared, his staff reviewed each of their player’s Workloads each day, and if they were above specific benchmarks, the players were assigned alternate training for that day. He credits his GPS athlete monitoring system for keeping his team playing at a high level as they made their deepest playoff run in school history.
Learn how Chanhassen High School soccer uses athlete monitoring to make more informed coaching decisions →
4. Provide objective performance feedback for players
One of the most difficult situations for coaches is having a discussion about a player’s performance, and the athlete does not see what the coaching staff is seeing. That’s where GPS player tracking comes in.
Numbers don’t lie. That’s what we hear from coaches all the time. It is so much easier to have a conversation with a player when you can say “here are the Player Workload scores from the last 3 games, let’s discuss the factors that caused some of the differences.” Data provides both the athletes and the coaching staff quantifiable information so they can improve.
5. Establish benchmarks for your team or program
Coaches often do testing with their athletes at the beginning and end of the season. Athlete monitoring allows coaches to take that a step further. Now they are able to establish benchmarks using concrete data in the preseason and monitor those metrics throughout the year. The result is a more accurate way of measuring development during the season, and from year to year.
Many of the high school coaches we work with take an age-specific approach to performance benchmarking. The data allows them to set expectations for each class – from freshman to senior – and monitor their development throughout their high school careers. Coaches and athletes can have visibility to the GPS player tracking data and make the determination where additional development is needed.
St. Xavier High School lacrosse used GPS player tracking data to change the way they trained and practiced. See how they did it. →
6. Advantages in recruiting
Having good players certainly makes a coach’s job a bit easier. But how do you recruit good players? Your commitment to development will speak for itself.
It’s true in all sports – high school football, college lacrosse, or club soccer – players will want to play for teams that have a high level of professionalism and are committed to helping them improve. We hear from coaches all the time that athletes (and families) are impressed by their adoption of the latest GPS athlete monitoring technology and it has provided a big selling feature in attracting players.
There you have it. 6 of the most common reasons coaches at all levels are adopting GPS athlete monitoring systems.
*This content was originally published April, 2018 but has since been updated to maintain the accuracy of insight and user experience.