Coming into 2017 hotter than stoppage time penalty kicks, wearable technologies are all the rage right now. At the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Conference in January, crowds flocked to different wearable vendors throughout the weekend.
Wearable technologies are, as you can imagine, those types of technologies or gadgets that are worn by players and often include tracking information related to health and fitness.
There are a seemingly endless amount of wearables available on the market, including smart watches and smart clothing, just to name a couple. We’ll assume for the sake of this blog that your club team will not be dishing out smart watches at your next tryout. Instead, we’ll focus on the gadgets that will improve players’ performances and help prevent injury.
Below are three recommendations from the LeagueApps FC team to help give your soccer club the winning edge.
Zepp Play Soccer is a small gadget that slips inside a calf sleeve that is also provided at the time of purchase. Using a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, you receive insights based on player and unique soccer data.
To use the app and gadget, pair up the sensor with the app and simply click start to begin tracking. When the session or match is done, sync the data into the app. The end result is detailed stats on kick speed, sprints, distance traveled, the number of kicks, and other information useful for game-to-game tracking.
A post-game summary is automatically produced for the player. If you’re worried that Zepp only tracks one player, then the next sentence is for you. The app also has a Team Game mode, allowing multiple players to connect to the same match. This provides easy comparable data for coaches.
— Zepp Labs (@ZeppLabs) October 4, 2016
Catapult claims it is the most comprehensive solution for the world game. And after looking at their G-5 and OptimEye wearables, it’s very possible that their claim is correct. Not only do the gadgets of Catapult effectively track performance, but they also capture health data to alert overtraining and prevent injury.
The G5 is the world’s first goalkeeper monitor. It’s a chest strap that measures dives in both direction and intensity, jumps, accelerations, decelerations, changes of direction, repeat high-intensity efforts, and time to recover. What’s most revolutionary about the G5 isn’t that it captures all that data, it’s that over time it creates unique “fingerprints” for each individual. This allows for differentiation as each goalie’s physiology differs.
There are a couple of next generation OptimEye wearables provided by Catapult. The X4 is an entry system monitor that helps calculate force, turn rate, orientation, and running (backward, forward, and sideways). The summaries and reports calculated include ways to plot player position, velocity, heart rate, and recovery time. The S5 is the newest product and is the only athlete tracking monitor that measures collisions.
Released to the public during NAASC 2016 in Baltimore, PlayerTek is the world’s first GPS sports tracker designed exclusively for soccer players. Each system includes a PlayerTek pod, a base-layer garment with a pocket on the back to hold the pod, and a micro USB cable to charge and sync the gadget.
The real genius of PlayerTek is the simplicity in its use. Sensors within the pod complete nearly 2500 measurements every second allowing for a player’s every movement on the pitch to be tracked. At the end of the match, players are given detailed feedback on the intensity of their performance and how to improve.