A New Jersey public high school with more than 1,000 students, Delsea Regional High School uses Catapult’s PlayerTek technology to monitor the performance of its soccer teams from U16 to U18 level.
An objective approach to performance
In his dual role as a physical education teacher and strength and conditioning coach, Dave Heyel MEd, ATC, CSCS is responsible for developing the athletic performance of Delsea’s students while protecting them from undue risk of injury. After finding out about Catapult at the NSCA Conference, Dave decided to introduce the technology right away.
“I initially decided to implement Catapult with the boy’s soccer team in the fall of 2018,” Dave explains. “My goal was to track athletes to determine if they are at risk of overuse injuries and see if they needed to decrease activity during non-game days.”
In terms of the benefits the technology has brought to Delsea, Dave believes it plays a key role in protecting players from injury.
“I find it most helpful with my player injury prevention,” says Dave. “That may be related to my athletic training background. It makes it easier for me to see if our players are at risk of injury and make suggestions to have certain players have a reduced PlayerLoad on practice days.”
PlayerTek has also been beneficial in terms of getting the players themselves to engage with the data. Focusing on metrics such as PlayerLoad, Distance and Power Plays, Dave believes his players are engaging with a more objective approach to performance.
“The players enjoy looking at their overall scores and level of play on a game-by-game basis,” he says. “They see the effort needed to perform better and overall have worked towards becoming a more consistent performer for the team.”
When it came to selecting a GPS tracking provider for Delsea, Catapult’s position as an industry leader combined with strong customer service made it a straightforward decision for Dave.
“They are the leader in this technology and the price was manageable for my high school,” he explains. “I’ve always had a quick response when I request information or have any questions. Catapult’s staff have always been very pleasant and informative.”
When asked if he has any advice for coaches who are considering introducing GPS tracking to their teams, Dave says that it’s crucial to make sure all active players are being monitored.
“I would recommend purchasing at least 12-15 pods per squad, since there are subs that put in a significant amount of time in a game and are not being monitored if only 10 are purchased for a team.”