Human Tracking in High Performance Sports
Global positioning system (GPS) based player and officials movement tracking data are widely used by professional clubs, academies and associations to provide insight into activity demands during training and competitive matches. There are specific loads expected for players and officials according to demand profiles hence daily, weekly and match day metrics are helpful in designing specific programs for both players and referees.
Let’s take for example how many kilometers do you think a professional midfielder should cover per match? This used to be a very controversial question but with the coming of Electronic Performance & Tracking Systems, the figures are at hand without any quarrel. The digitalization of players’ and officials’ abilities makes it easier to assess players’ or referees’ fitness levels. In this topic, we will be dealing with players and referees tracking during training and matchday.
Modern physical training in elite sport is characterized by the systematic and continuous assessment of data on competitive and training performances. In team sports, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology is probably the most used monitoring tool to record workloads during training and competition.
In soccer, the training load (TL) has previously been defined as the input variable that is manipulated to elicit the desired training response and it can be differentiated into external and internal loads. While external loads refers to overall activities of a player internal load encompasses the psycho- physiological stress imposed on players body. Both internal and external loads represent the cumulative exposure of each player to training and competition. Loads can be assessed by means of internal and external measures. For internal measures, heart rate or rating of perceived exertion have traditionally been applied. For external measurements, GPS data have proven to be valid and reliable means. GPS measures time motions parameters represented by distance covered and the number of efforts at different running velocities, as well as acceleration and deceleration through out the activity at different intensities over a few meters which are too short to reach high speed running.