When the University of Virginia men’s basketball team won the 2019 NCAA National Championship, a small device worn under the players’ uniforms that measured physical performance in real-time was acknowledged as vital to the wellbeing of the team.
Since then, a new wave of innovative college basketball programs have adopted performance technologies to help quantify team and athlete performance through wearable technology, athlete management platforms, and video analysis tools.
As Tim Campbell, Strength & Conditioning Coach for Akron Men’s Basketball says, “Adding Catapult to our program allows us to periodize practice and be more efficient in our approach now we’ve added objective data to subjective coaching.”
Alongside the likes of Akron, Michigan State, Duke, Michigan and Louisville, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is one of the programs pushing the boundaries of performance using Catapult technology.
Blake Bender, Director of Basketball Performance at UNC Charlotte, said Catapult allows his program to work smarter.
“Catapult affords us the ability to measure player loads at the highest level, and make performance decisions based on those metrics. It has been instrumental in giving us insight into the physiological demands a basketball game require, and the level of fitness our athletes need to achieve and maintain.
“It also allows us to work smarter, and provides objective measures to support the advice we give our coaching staff in regards to return to play, practice intensities and durations, as well as repetitions per player.”
John Marshall, Head Athletic Trainer, added: “The information provided has been instrumental with return to play of injured athletes. We are able to determine a threshold that we want to achieve for a given day and use that feedback for progressing the athlete into activity.”
One of the advantages of using monitoring technology is that sports scientists and performance managers can better engaged with coaches through data. Head Coach Ron Sanchez says “Catapult has been pivotal in practice planning, as we now understand what each and every drill in practice demands from a player. We feel as if we are giving our athletes the greatest chance to succeed on the court from a scientific perspective.”