Soccer players use GPS to keep track of fitness in pre-season

Soccer players use GPS to keep track of fitness in pre-season

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Melbourne: Liverpool’s soccer team has started using GPS devices to keep track of their fitness. The system collects statistics on speed, distance, heart rate, dynamic stress loads, accelerations and decelerations. The data is both collected for storage and streamed live to coaching staff sitting at laptops up to two pitches away – vital if in-play changes need to be made.

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard lifted up his shirt during Liverpool’s win over Melbourne Victory to reveal he was wearing a STATSports Viper unit – a GPS system that collects a multitude of statistics. The Viper unit fits on a player’s back in a pouch supplied by the tight-fitting vest. Each unit contains four processors, a GPS module, a 3-D accelerometer (to determine direction and speed), a 3-D gyroscope (to locate balance and orientation), a 3-D digital compass, a long range radio and a heart rate receiver. Various parameters are measured and calculated 100 times per second, meaning almost a quarter of a million numbers every minute can be analysed from a team of 11 football players. The feedback gives valuable insight that is then used to optimise players’ performance, workload and goals. All such statistics are 99 per cent accurate even in a stadium of 90,000 people using phones and Wi-Fi gadgets. Media reports suggest that a total of 14 clubs are supposed to use these devices this pre-season and every day in training during 2013-14.

Source: Daily Mail