Catapult leading development of position-specific metrics in American Football
This Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will contest Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis watched by a global audience of over 100 million.
As one of the world’s most advanced and innovative sports leagues, the NFL is at the forefront of sports technology and the use of data to inform key coaching and sports science decisions.
At Catapult, our mission is to build and improve the performance of athletes and teams. Over the past year, we have been focusing heavily on American Football to provide sport-specific outcomes that help drive risk, readiness and return-to-play protocols.
By combining inertial sensor data with positional information, our data scientists are able to extract unique metrics that highlight specific positional demands in American Football.
As the lynchpin of the offense and a key asset to the team, it’s crucial that a quarterback’s workload is monitored closely to ensure that they aren’t overexerting themselves in practice.
By tracking each throw a quarterback makes during practice and games, coaches and sports scientists are better able to manage workload to ensure that players can perform at their optimal level when it matters most.
Leveraging metrics such as throw count, throw load and load per throw, coaches are able to fully evaluate the workload of each practice. How much load does a quarterback accumulate between throws? Does an intense aerobic practice impact throws? How do the physical demands of practice compare to games? All of these questions can be addressed and answered using Catapult’s analytics.
Playing in one of the most physically demanding positions on the field, linemen are constantly exposed to heavy impacts. Given the nature of their role, it’s vital that organisations can monitor the loads linemen experience as a result of contacts.
Recording key numbers including contacts, contact load, contact load % and load per contact, our linemen metrics give teams the opportunity to better understand how contacts contribute to the overall loads experienced by players in those positions.
As the NFL continues to push the boundaries of technological innovation, analytics such as those developed by our data scientists are becoming an increasingly important asset for teams as they seek to optimise player performance and generate crucial competitive advantage on the field.