The Australian Wallabies rugby team have been using GPS wearable technology for the last five years to quantify player readiness for competition, reduce injury risk, and map out return to play following injury.
Head of Physical Performance, Haydn Masters, believes the technology directly influences his role in getting the most out of the Wallabies players.
“The Catapult technology allows me to improve the way I do my job in so many ways, but primarily through gaining insights into the athletes through data collection provides the opportunity to allow these athletes to perform at their peak,” Masters said.
“We have a measure that we can prepare athletes against to ensure they’re prepared to go into games with a lower injury risk because they are resilient to the match demands. That’s a very important part of our injury reduction strategy. The other way is to use the data to look at training stress balance and whether or not we’re really working within the zones of safety for our athletes in regards to loading each week, compared with what they’ve been doing the last four weeks.
“It’s the combination of metrics that really give you the data that you need, so speed distances, speed zones, they’re really good measures of intensity and how hard athletes have worked in a particular area.
“More recently we’ve been looking at the way movement around the field is measured and we use the average acceleration load density metrics that really give us an insight into the demands of the game and then matching those in training.
“When we’re looking to return an athlete to competition after injury, the use of Catapult is extremely vital. The insight we get into the athlete for whether they’re ready to match the game demands and whether they’ve reached their peak fitness levels is a crucial component in the selection of the athlete”.
Masters relies on using the safest technology option in sport and sees the potential of the system for amateur sport and recruiting.
“We chose Catapult because we want to be number one in the world,” Masters said. “Catapult provide the leading technology in the wealth of GPS, the platforms on the cloud-based system allow us to easily access our data and provide information to the coaches to maximise their performance.
“I think the Catapult technology can have a significant impact in the universities, clubs, and amateur ranks. To be able to gain insights into your athletes and match the game demands, it’s a very easy thing to do and I think most practitioners in the game should look at improving that as an aspect using Catapult.
“Using GPS in the recruitment of players is a very valuable tool. Being able to understand the development of grassroots through the international game and allow talent scouts the opportunity to see remotely whether athletes can produce those demands is essential for recruitment.
“We started using GPS systems about a decade ago when I was over in Perth, and then from investigating different companies and who’s providing the best services, and Catapult was Australia’s leading provider.”
To find out more about the GPS technology used by the Australian Wallabies, get in touch with us and speak to a Catapult sports scientist.