Founded by NBA champion and three-time All-Star Marc Gasol, Bàsquet Girona was formed in 2014 and has established itself in the LEB Plata, the third tier of Spanish Basketball.
In trying to achieve their dream of reaching Liga ACB (the highest level of basketball in Spain), Bàsquet Girona have started using Catapult’s S5 wearable technology. The technology helps the club to monitor its players by delivering consistent, high-quality data from inside the Pavelló Girona-Fontajau arena.
A data-driven approach
Principally, the technology is used by the club’s Physical Trainer, Arnau Sacot, to monitor the stresses placed on players, to mitigate the risk of injuries, and to compare data insights across different performances.
“Using Catapult is an amazing opportunity, it is really helpful for monitoring load, controlling risk and comparing week by week. We are able to see how we are in terms of availability and competition per player and as a team.”
Using Catapult has helped Arnau and his team move towards a more data-driven approach to performance. “From the practices, we also monitor every exercise and we can compare between them, for example, the type of court, the players we played or the type of defence,” Arnau explains. This approach enables many of the previously subjective metrics to be analysed and communicated to the players and, more importantly, the coaching staff.
Due to the demands the game of basketball places on players, PlayerLoad has become a key metric for Arnau. This metric indicates the physical demands placed on players and how stressful particular exercises, practices and games are.
“We take the PlayerLoad value per session and per minute,” says Arnau. “From this data we can get the whole amount of load and the intensity of practice. Also, from the technology we can take data based upon a change of direction, acceleration, deceleration and for this reason, we know the impact on the player internally.
“With the total PlayerLoad we can talk with the coaches and know the amount of load we want to get into every practice. From here, we can measure how the practice was and we can compare practice weeks and games with each other.”
Aiding communication and accountability
The communication and accountability between players and coaches has been key to the development and success of the team. The wearable technology has aided this communication by providing an objective basis from which to start coach/player interventions.
“We talk to the team analysts and see what we have been doing daily and from that, we can see how to become better day by day,” explains Antonio Hester, a forward with Girona. “We are able to see where we are currently, keeping ourselves accountable about what we do, what we put into our bodies, and how we get rest.”
For Menno Dijkstra, Girona’s Dutch centre, the science Catapult brings to the training process is invaluable. Even though he hadn’t used a system like it before, he is already seeing the value.
“Catapult adds science to our practices, it provides stats based on how much energy you put in, how much distance you have run, and how high you have jumped,” Dijkstra explains. “I have never used Catapult before, it’s a brand new system for me to use. It is interesting to see how it can help you as an athlete. You can compare how you perform to how you feel physically. So far I really like it.”