In February 2020, Club Athletico Paranaense became the first football club in South America to use ClearSky, Catapult’s local positioning system (LPS).

Based in the Brazilian city of Curitiba, o Furacão has a reputation for success on the field and innovation off it. Over the last two seasons, the club has won domestic and continental trophies, claiming both the 2018 Copa Sudamericana and the 2019 Copa do Brasil.

Overcoming obstacles to data collection

Despite possessing one of the most cutting-edge sports science departments in South America, Athletic Paranaense has historically struggled to collect consistent GPS data during home matches since the Arena de Baixada was rebuilt with a retractable roof for the 2014 World Cup.

“For a long time we did not have all training and match metrics available because of the infrastructure interference on the satellite signals and data collected by the antenna,” says Tadashi Hara, First Team Sports Scientist at Paranaense.

By using a network of locally installed nodes instead of relying on satellite constellations, ClearSky is able to deliver highly accurate positional and inertial data in any performance environment. Despite the roof on their home stadium, o Furacão are now able to collect vital performance metrics regardless of the environment in which the team plays or trains.

Taking sports science to the next level

Since the installation of ClearSky at the Arena de Baixada, the club’s sports science department have taken their load monitoring and analysis to the next level.

With 117 monitoring devices used across the first team and academy squads, Tadashi and his team have been able to track performance across indoor and outdoor environments. This has enabled the club to bring objective data to more aspects of the club’s performance infrastructure.

“Customised daily and weekly reports, individual and group load management, player readiness, match availability, and return-to-play load control are just a few of the actions we’re able to take as a result of ClearSky,” Tadashi explains. “Also, during the injury rehabilitation phase, our physios use Catapult devices to allow for follow-up of an athlete’s chronic load.”

By collecting this information and using it to support decision making, Athletico Paranaense has been able to better connect the data to the team’s tactical structure and game model. “The technology allows an interesting connection between the metrics, the tactical structure, and the game model,” says Tadashi. “This contributes to training session planning and to the strategies adopted by the coaching staff at home games.”

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