Minnesota United FC play in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS), beginning play as the league’s 22nd club in 2017.
The Loons use Catapult wearables and video analysis solutions to elevate their performance analysis. Spearheading the use of Catapult’s solutions is the team’s Senior Assistant Strength & Conditioning Specialist and U.S Soccer’s Sports Scientist, Adam Parr.
Parr has always aimed to improve and develop the performance of his athletes. Throughout his career, he has used a range of solutions to help him do so and, consequently, has built an extensive performance analysis knowledge base.
Unmatched athlete monitoring
Parr struggled to effectively report on the “short, sharp, and explosive movements of athletes with previous solutions.” This is because metrics derived from GPS often reflect the locomotive aspects of performance, yet soccer is a sport made up of both locomotive and mechanical movements.
To solve this and to help practitioners like Parr to continue in their ambitions to improve, Catapult launched a soccer-specific Movement Profile in September 2020.
Movement Profile is an algorithm built into Catapult’s premium wearable solution, Vector, that quantifies and categorizes every type of movement made on a pitch. Parr explains that “Movement Profile is valuable in its ability to effectively describe the overall mechanical work completed within practice sessions and training drills.”
Click here to learn more about Movement Profile.
Improved workload management with six movement categories
Movement Profile provides Parr objective data on the absolute and relative time spent in six different movement categories.
“Performance coaches typically want to understand the density of work going into sessions and an athlete’s response to that work. Movement Profile certainly describes this very well as it enables us to break down movement into six different categories based upon intensity.”
Parr’s ability to break down his athletes’ workload into different categories has been of critical importance. The Loons’ performance team have been able to more effectively measure the workloads of their athletes.
“Looking at the different Movement Profile bands is really exciting and a huge step forward for us. We’re able to see workload to a deeper, more meaningful level and can now identify the mechanical workload of our training sessions and matches.”
Improved periodization practices
Through using Catapult Vector and Movement Profile, Parr has more of an understanding of Minnesota United’s in-week periodization strategies.
“In the time we have used Movement Profile, we now have a better understanding of training and match intensities within our environment and think that this could add significant value moving forward. As our use of Movement Profile continues, we’re excited about the potential to understand specific trends, and how coaches can finally address in-week periodization.”
Parr has also been able to seek more benefits from the soccer-specific solutions than he initially expected. With Movement Profile, Minnesota United is able to obtain critical performance insights when training indoors as it harnesses the inertial sensors found within Catapult Vector.
“One of the challenges for us was that we couldn’t gather performance data when we trained inside as a lot of solutions out there only use GPS-based technology. But with Movement Profile, we can get the data we need when we train indoors, and this is great for us as we look to objectify every performance aspect at the club.”
When training outdoors, Parr is able to improve the depth from which he can analyse performances from.
“With Catapult Vector, we’re able to combine GPS-based metics with Movement Profile. There is a nice relationship between the two data sources providing multiple metrics for us to assess. Vector with Movement Profile allows the team to draw connections with several metrics, deepening the level and quality of our analysis.”
Performance data with context
Minnesota United worked with Catapult on a project to integrate their athletes’ wearable performance data with video analysis solution, Catapult Vision.
By investigating both solutions in the future, Parr is looking forward to sharing and communicating insights with greater clarity, supported with a visual context. He explains that “integrating our performance data with video enables me and the other coaches to provide better, more informed information to the players.”
Image Credit: Minnesota United FC