A blog post written by Stephen from SC1 Sports Blog.
Today saw a lot of the Premiership teams put through their paces back at their training grounds as the first day of pre-season began. Being an #LFC fan, I was eager to check up on my teams progress on their first day, and also to see what kind of shape Big Andy Carroll was in after his Ibiza and ‘Glasto’ adventures. Apart from the excitement of Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky being back at Melwood, I noticed each player wearing a black bra-type bib.
So what is GP Sports? According to their site (http://gpsports.com/gpsports_website/), GP Sports Tracking and Analysis Technologies are being used to improve the performance of elite team sport. They have revolutionised how team sport athletes prepare and manage themselves. For decreased injuries, weekly planning, allowing more time to be spent on speed and power activities, and more game specific programming. As well as Liverpool, their clients include Man Utd, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is used by teams from other sports as well, with the South African Cricket team using it, and Australian rugby team St George Illawarra Dragons Football Club. A full client list is given here.
The most common product used is the SPI Pro X. This offers more in-game analysis. An impressive feature is showing the work load of each athlete, and how close an athlete is to injury. This means, if you have a target for training, for example, a body load score of 980, they can train until they hit exactly that point. This means feedback can be given on workload throughout training. There is an iPhone app for collecting the information.
I know from experience in tough training, certain people are quick to call the bluffers and say who isn’t ‘putting it in’. This technology would be great to try out. Also, playing an amateur sport (Gaelic Football) and having gone through the rehabilitation stage of injury, it would have been brilliant to be aware of my limits when attempting to strengthen my injury. I must have re-torn my quad muscle 3 times after the initial tear. It would also get rid of this "it'll tighten ye" attitude, where people are pressured to play through pain at their highest level when they only make an injury worse. However, do not...i repeat...DO NOT...tell the world for weeks you are in fighting shape, the fittest you have ever been, and then when you crumble, stand on the table at your press conference and show the world your injury.