Athlete Monitoring for Coaches: FAQs

12th July 2018

You’re a good coach.  You follow the latest developments in coaching.  You keep seeing this term “athlete monitoring” popping up but what exactly is it?  Are coaches really using it?

Let’s start from the beginning with this handy little FAQ.

Q: What is Athlete Monitoring?

Athlete monitoring (you’ll also see it called performance monitoring, player tracking, GPS tracking, etc.) has been around in sports for, at least, the past 10 years.  Due to cost and complexity, it had mostly been used by big budget professional, national, and collegiate teams. They were the ones who had both the money, and the sports scientists, to make use of all the great data that was being generated.  Stay tuned for more on that in a minute.

Q: Which Sports Use Athlete Monitoring?

There’s a lot.  This list is just a start, but if you’re coaching in any of the sports below, there’s a good chance your fellow competitors have already started using player tracking with their teams.

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Field Hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • GAA
  • Australian Football
  • Cricket

Q: Is it just the professionals that are using athlete monitoring?

Not anymore.  Over the past several years, the cost of the technology has come down and brands, like PlayerTek, have developed systems that are specifically geared towards coaches at all levels.  That’s why you’re seeing colleges, high schools, academies, amateur, and youth teams across the world taking advantage.

Q: Why are coaches using athlete monitoring?

We’ve worked with thousands of coaches across the world and we asked that same question. A few of the most common reasons we hear is that player tracking helps to reduce injuries, offers a competitive advantage, and assists coaches in making more informed decisions.

Q: How does athlete monitoring work?

Athletes wear a small tracking device that is often held in a compression shirt.  That device uses similar GPS technology to your smartphone and tracks all of the player’s movements during the game or practice.  

The real magic happens in the software though.  That is what will provide coaches with a dashboard that helps them make sense of all the data.  It allows coaches to quantify things like “How hard did my player work in practice today?” and “Do I need to back off the workload in practice tomorrow to get ready for Friday’s game?”

Q: What types of data does athlete monitoring provide?

A good player tracking system will provide data that coaches can use to make more informed decisions.  The PlayerTek system offers coaches insights on crucial things like: distance, top speed, impacts, distance at top speed, Player WorkLoad, and energy scores.

Interested in finding out how Catapult’s solutions can help your team to discover its competitive edge? Click here to find out more.