Just a week ahead of the World Cup, Catapult has launched a wearable that helps amateur footballers prepare, perform and recover like the world’s top pros.
The company was born just over a decade ago and has since become the global leader in athlete analytics. Their wide range of wearables and is now used in more than 20 sports at elite level for fitness, tactical, rehabilitation and technical analysis. This includes leading football clubs such as Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City.
Essential reading: Training sensors for soccer (aka football players)
All this knowledge and expertise has been channeled into creating its latest sports tracking wearable called PLAYR. Just like the Playertek smart vest – Catapult’s other GPS tracker for amateur footballers – the device consists of a SmartPod, SmartVest and the SmartCoach app.
The GPS pod attaches to the vest that features a compression crop top with a neoprene pocket and back panel. It then monitors movement and measures physical performance on the pitch. Catapult says it can detect up to 1,250 movements per second at an accuracy within one meter.
All of this is stored on the 4GB of built-in memory and synced post match via bluetooth to the smartphone app. This is where you can delve deep into the statistics such as speed and distance measurements and workload metrics of training volume and intensity. You’ll also find heat maps based on GPS data that show how you moved on the pitch. So you can see how you stack-up against the game’s best, the app will even compare your performance to match outputs of Premier League players.
But the main difference between PLAYR and the Playertek smart vest is that the new wearable also offers detailed insights on preparation, performance and recovery. Catapult calls this AI system SmartCoach. It tailors the advice to a soccer player’s age, gender, position, and training schedule, and will even give tips on aspects such as nutrition and sleep.
“PLAYR is a system that promises to revolutionise how people play the game,” said Benoît Simeray, Consumer CEO of Catapult.
“For the first time, amateurs and aspiring players will be able to train like the pros and ultimately bring a higher level of performance onto the pitch. No other tracking device comes as close to elite technology as PLAYR, and it’s available for all.”
The SmartPod’s Lithium-Ion battery lasts up to three matches and charges wirelessly in two hours. Magnets automatically activate the device and the fabric is not only easily cared for but also stretch fit and retains shape.
Combining performance data and sports science insights, PLAYR hopes to transform the way aspiring footballers understand and improve their performance. If the World Cup has you inspired and you’d like to train like the pros, check out Catapult’s latest sports tracking wearable on www.playrsmartcoach.com.
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