Sam Robertson, Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University’s Institute of Sport, and Senior Sports Scientist with the Western Bulldogs in the AFL, is in a unique position to maximise the use of Catapult’s local positioning system, ClearSky.
“In this job, we want as much objective data on training and competition as possible,” Sam said. “To obtain the data in near real-time and inform decision-making processes is really beneficial in allowing us to make changes on the go, thereby improving the quality of work that we do.”
In his co-authored paper ‘Modelling within-team relative phase couplings using position derivatives in Australian rules football’, Sam proposed “a method that encodes interpersonal movement coordination using relative phase properties derived from angular velocity and acceleration” and found that “the increased accuracy of LPS comparative to GPS allows for increased use of such data for tactical and coaching applications, such as formation detection or how players respond to certain match events.”
Sam also sees enormous potential in the combination of data sources across sensors and vision-derived data. In another co-authored paper ‘Classification of team sport activities using a single wearable tracking device’ found that “in sporting scenarios where wearable tracking devices are employed, it is both possible and feasible to accurately classify team sport-related activities.”
Victoria University are leading the way in performance analysis with their use of ClearSky, which was installed in their facilities in 2014. During this time, Sam has found “from the analyses we have undertaken, it appears that ClearSky provides improved accuracy and precision comparative to GPS which of course allow for increased confidence in our use of such data for planning and evaluation.”
In his role with the Western Bulldogs and in his utilisation of ClearSky at Victoria University, Sam is “really interested in representative design and how different drills relate to match characteristics from a physical and skill perspective. Catapult data helps us to make these comparisons rapidly so we can adjust parameters around a drill whilst it is in progress.”
Sam is excited to see where the use of wearables in sport continues to head, “both from the hardware perspective as well as applications and integration with other technologies such as computer vision.”