Catapult has enjoyed another great season working with several teams throughout the English football pyramid. Across all promotion spots available in the Championship, League One, League Two, and the National League, 11 of the 12 promoted teams use Catapult technology.
Following this achievement, we caught up Plymouth Argyle, Rotherham United, and Coventry City to see how they have used Catapult over the course of the season to help gain promotion and how the technology is aiding their preseason preparations for the 2020/21 season.
Plymouth Argyle FC
Plymouth joined the Catapult family in 2019 and the club’s Head of Fitness and Conditioning, John Lucas, has relished using the technology over the course of their promotion winning season.
“The introduction of athlete monitoring technology was a huge step for us in terms of the technological advancement of the club. The data we get from Catapult helps to inform the decisions of the coaching staff and make training more objective.”
Through monitoring his players’ workload during training and games, Lucas is better able to optimise performances, mitigate injury risks, and support rehabilitation processes. Consequently, the head of S&C believes the technology provides the best opportunity to help compete in League One, the English third division.
“The use of athlete monitoring systems is widespread in elite football and can make a real difference when it comes to understanding the physical demands of competition and optimally preparing players to meet those demands.”
Rotherham United FC
The Millers have demonstrated a commitment to sports science and performance monitoring for a number of seasons with Catapult. Under the guidance of Performance Manager Ross Burbeary, the club has established and is dedicated to implementing best practices and creating a positive culture around performance.
For the 2020/21 season, Rotherham United will be competing in the EFL Championship and Burbeary will continue to use Catapult technology to align performances as close to data as possible.
“We use Catapult as a vehicle to standardise our practice and pursue a culture where the players see performance as being synonymous with data,” says Burbeary. By doing so, the performance manager is able to develop data-based profiles for each player, something he refers to as ‘physical passports’.
“As part of our physical passport, we have standards to which we expect players to adhere to, and the Catapult data assists in the information we give to the staff and players. I completely trust Catapult to provide us with accurate, reliable and objective data that assists us in the ongoing analysis of every Rotherham United player.”
Coventry City FC
The team were crowned champions of League One during the 2019/20 season with much of the credit going to the club’s Manager, Mark Robins. Although, Robins works closely with Head of Sports Science, Adam Hearn, to ensure the players are optimally conditioned to meet the level needed to perform.
“A lot of our success came from having a common understanding, all the stakeholders aspired for Coventry to make that next step in performance levels,” says Hearn. “The overriding goal was to achieve promotion, and by breaking that goal down week by week with Catapult we were able to make many small, but significant, changes in our performances.”
The Head of Sports Science specifically uses Catapult in both training and games to identify the players’ total and relative locomotive and mechanical movements. Acquiring such data was central to helping the team set performance benchmarks from which they can look to improve upon.
“When looking at the numbers across the season, our workloads continued to increase week on week. The intensity of the work completed was established and compounded throughout the season. We actively targeted this approach since this is what is needed for a higher level of performance and should land us in good stead going into a season in the Championship.”
Curt Taylor, Director of UK & Ireland Sales at Catapult, says: “We are delighted to see so many of our teams being promoted and others achieving their performance goals through the use of Catapult Technology.
“This season speaks volumes for the value our technology provides, not just in the EFL and football, but also globally and in other sports. I look forward to another great season for our teams and continuing our support as they look to optimise their performances further.”