Jensen and Cameron from Emley Moor ARLFC U11s trying out in-match GPS tracking

Affordable in-game GPS Technology is here!

Remember back in the day when sports technology like fitness trackers and helmet cameras were only for elite athletes?  We can barely remember those days either, and now the trackers you see Rugby and Football players wear on TV are coming down to grassroots too.

Our demonstration Sports Performance Tracking GPS units have been in hot demand in schools and universities across the UK, but now school’s out for summer we took some of our GPS units down to Emley Moor Rugby League Under 11s to give them them a try.  They went down a storm!  Have a look to find out how Jensen (2nd 5/8) and Cameron (loose forward) got on.

So easy to use…

Just like the elite professionals you see every week on TV, the SPT GPS comes with a sports vest with a little padded pocket at the back for the GPS tracker – which at 40mm x 70mm x 6mm is very small and light.  The tracker is rugged, water-resistant, has just one button for on and off, and simple indicator lights to show it has power and has picked up a satellite.  And with a 6 hour battery life we could be confident that the units would last the match.  So getting the units on and working was child’s play!

At the end of the match we took the units and uploaded them onto the cloud-based analytics software – and here’s another touch of genius with the SPT system – the analysis is so simple that anyone can quickly understand the information.  The GPS can’t tell you everything about the game – it can’t show Jensen’s dazzling side-step, or Cameron’s barnstorming charges, but it did give some fantastic performance information.

Simple and powerful analytics…

Jensen was recorded for 62 minutes and covered 3.25km – when you consider a professional will run about 7km over an 80 minute match, that’s a great show.  Of Jensen’s 3.25km, nearly a kilometre was at running pace (defined at Junior level at over 10.8kph and over 17.5kph at elite level).  Jensen recorded a top speed of 26.5km/h and  racked up a total of 13 full on sprint efforts.  You can see from his heatmap below that over 200m was run at “speed zone 6” – in excess of 21.6km per hour.  These speed zones are set universally, so players across the world of all ages can assess their performance and ‘compete’ with eachother using their GPS units; zone 6 is the same for an 11 year old as it is for a professional – and at this age every meter in zone 6 is to be prized!

Jenson’s GPS performance analytics

Cameron was recorded for 52 minutes, a tough injury cutting short his game.  Again, with a professional forward running about 6.5km, Cameron’s 2.7km distance travelled shows that he got involved in a lot of the action.  11 spint efforts and a top end speed of 22kph are some great figures for a forward, and despite having to run into people, Cam also broke through and made it into speed zone 6.  Top effort Cameron!

As well as showing personal analytics (which can be kept private or shared with a team), the online tool also summarises the key metrics of all players – see image below.

Why GPS?

There are some things GPS can’t tell you – the bravery of a tackle, the skill of a pass, or whether the 50 metre sprint was a dash to score or a desperate chase to stop the opposition scoring.  And there are things it tells you that you already know – backs are generally quicker than forwards, and forwards often don’t run as far as they keep bumping into the opposition.

But there are so many things the GPS can tell you about individual and team performance – whether its rugby, football, or hockey.  Sport isn’t about who can run a smooth 400m the fastest.  Its about sprint.  recover.  sprint.  recover.  And this GPS tracks player performance down to the second.  It also “gamifys” training and matches – players can compete against each other, as well as competing against themselves to improve on previous performances.

Love football, rugby or hockey?  Love tracking your exercise on your phone or smart watch but can’t measure your contact sports performance?  Then at less than the price of a good GoPro camera or Smartwatch, the SPT GPS Tracker and online analytics tool are for you!

Whether you’re a club or an individual, get in touch today with us at Godzown Sports – UK Agent for Sports Performance Tracking.