When it comes to tracking players' progress during the pre-season, the Newcastle Knights have it covered with a state of the art sports GPS system.
Newcastle Knights’ Athletic Performance Analyst, Jace Delaney and Strength and Conditioning Coach Dave Ballard have explained the sports GPS system employed by the Club to accurately understand and manage the players’ training efforts.
Delaney’s role entails managing the GPS system and variety of sports science measures as well as working with the University of Newcastle who are conducting sports science research through the Club.
The GPS Sport system has the capability to collect live data on distance, acceleration and deceleration counts, impacts, body load and heart rate.
Whenever the Knights take the field to train, they wear a cropped vest underneath their shirts that allows a GPS unit, about the size of a matchbox, to be worn.
“The location high between the shoulder blades is the highest point and is not influenced by the player’s arms moving, it’s a safe spot up there,” Delaney said.
The players also don a heart strap that ties around their chest touching the skin.
A number of receiver towers are set up around the ground that intercepts the signals from the individual player units.
Information is then fed back to the trainers laptops on the field and organised into into graphs and tables.
“We can actually watch what they are doing, as they are doing it on the computer,” he added.
“That gives us an indication of how far and how fast the boys are running bouncing off the satellites.
“Mainly we look at distances overall, so we’re looking at volume for the players throughout the training week.
“Also for guys coming back to training from rehab, we can get a bit of an idea of how close they are back to 100 per cent before we bring them back into full training."
The data collected throughout pre-season has revealed some of the side’s top fitness performers.
“Looking at max velocity, we had some of our outside backs running some max speeds last week,” he added.
“Jack Mamo hit 9.6 metres a second and outside of that, Nathan Ross and Jarrod Mullen exceeded nine metres per second."