The US women’s national team (USWNT) recently won the soccer world cup in Canada defeating Japan in the final and by dominating each game they played.
Behind every world-class team there is a team of coaches and trainers dedicated to keeping players healthy through the whole period of competition, to help this highly trained professionals the USWNT wore also little but high technological accessories.
For years the team has been using heart rate monitors to track athletes activity and make the most out of their training sessions, recently also GPS trackers have been added to track every single movement athletes make and their impact on the field. The coaching staff analyses data collected to determine how hard the players are working, this allows them to adjust future training sessions and tailor individual workouts.
Coaches focus primarily on time and load in certain heart rate zones based on individuals maxes, then from the GPS they look at the amount of high intensity running, player loads, the work rate for individual and an analysis of the speed profile of each player. By combining the results from both instruments coaches understand better how players cope with the certain workloads and receive a good indication on their fitness level. Each athlete needs to train differently even among the same positions so it’s mandatory to know the different demands and adapt the loads consequently.
Also other teams rely on wearable technologies to improve their game, for example top soccer players in Italy are using Beast to evaluate their strength level both in season and off season. The sensor is used by the coaches to monitor jumps, in order to assess the physical conditions of the players and adapt workout loads, this help the coaches program training sessions more efficiently and prevent injuries due to overtraining.
Technologies will continue to make the difference on how athletes train, this methods tested and used by world class athletes and coaches are becoming available to everyday athletes and we will see them more and more frequently in our gyms.