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Training Goes High Tec

28 June 2016

GPS added to the medical teams armoury

Shrewsbury Town’s pre-season training programme has been enhanced thanks to a new piece of technology being used by the players.

The Super Blues supporters group has funded new GPS trackers that are being used to monitor different aspects of training, allowing both the medical and football sides plan their workload.

And physio Chris Skitt says they are an invaluable piece of kit.

“GPS has become a fundamental part of our planning for this pre-season and going further forward it will allow us to track all the physical parameters of the lads,” he told ShrewsWeb

“We will monitor distances they have covered in each training session which feeds into a weekly algorithm that we have designed which will tell us when and how much a player needs to do to reach peak performance which obviously leads into a match day.

“We will analyse all parameters and variables that they do on the football pitch from running to speed of running and distance of running and the intensity.

“It will transform what we can do scientifically with the players to make sure they reach peak performance.”

Skitt also said that as well as helping him with the medical side of pre-season, all the data can also help Micky Mellon and Mike Jackson from a tactical point of view.

“The system we have got allows us to do the heat maps and shows us where players have spent their time,” he said.

“Not only does it have a medical benefit we can also give it to the gaffer and Jacko to analyse in a game situation. For example, if players are holding their position but it will also flag up if they have vacated positions or are not in quite the perfect position so it does have a technical and tactical side to it.”

The squad have welcomed the new equipment and Skitt said he was hoping to get certain players running as quickly as Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt!

“Some of the players have already looked at it and come in and talked to me about it,” he said.

“I have managed to find some data for the likes of Usain Bolt and what speeds they commonly run at so we are able to bring it into the real world to set say Shaun Whalley a target to run as fast as them.

“I would be really pleased if we could get him up to as quick as Usain Bolt does but it is really in depth and the analysis we can do is ever lasting.

“It comes with heart rate monitors so what we can do is we can cross match the scores for the heart rate against the distances they have covered.

“It is not only a piece of kit that will screen for risk of poor performance, we can also use it for risk of injury as well.”

Skitt also thanked the fans who enabled the club to buy the kit.

“It is an invaluable piece of kit and I am very grateful for the Super Blues to have funded it. It has been a massive addition to the club,” he said.

“I have said previously all the supporters groups we have here are superb. They do such a good job in fundraising but also providing equipment to us that we would not be able to afford otherwise.

“It is so valuable and we are really grateful they have enabled us to get this stuff in and I just hope that they see the benefits of the use of the equipment.”

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