Better Living Through Big Data

Technology Prepared Team Germany for FIFA World Cup™ Success

Taylor Bloom iQ Sports and Tech Contributor, SportTechie

Take the German national football team (DFB).  While their recent FIFA World Cup 2014 success can be attributed to many things of course, it could all be traced back to the role and method of preparation.

The team has gone to great lengths to ensure their world-class players can perform at their peak. They even partnered with EXOS, world leaders in integrated performance training, and the adidas miCoach elite Team System, which is using it to monitor player performance in training sessions.

miCoach elite Team System

The miCoach elite Team System is essentially an advanced physiological monitoring system. It includes a small device worn by the players during training in a Techfit elite under layer that has special fabric heart rate sensors built into it.

The system measures the speed, distance, acceleration, heart rate and power of every athlete in training and all this information is made available live on a tablet to the expert trainers from EXOS and the DFB as well as post session for in depth analysis.

“The miCoach elite team system has been an integral part of our preparation and training for the 2014 World Cup,” said Darcy Norman, the Director of the Performance Innovation Team at EXOS, in an interview on the Adidas Group Blog.

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The technology is used in almost every training session to monitor each player’s performance and record their stats. Having detailed performance data allows coaches and trainers to fine tune each player’s skills and plan workouts that focus on particular areas of need.

“There are a variety of metrics the miCoach elite team system is capable of tracking. Each metric can shape the coaching and training decision-making process in a different way,” said Norman. “Analysis of the data can also help identify which players are fit versus those who could use a rest.”

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Power. Energy. Distance.

“One of the key metrics we track is power.” Norman said. “The more power a player generates during an exercise without burning too much energy, the more efficient and fit they are. If they generate a low power number with a large metabolic response, we know they’re fatiguing and that we need to keep a close eye on them.”

In addition to power and energy levels measured by miCoach, Norman and her team can also understand the distance the player traveled and how hard he worked over that distance.

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“A defensive midfielder may make the effort or acceleration to cover a big distance at speed but may only go 5-10 meters and then have to stop and change direction,” explained Norman. “In contrast, an outside defender – based on how they play and the team’s tactics – may cover a greater distance at speed. Both movements are important and relative to the position.”

Coaches and trainers establish what they want miCoach to track, they can set goals

The use of the adidas miCoach elite Team System by the German national team at the World Cup, although not as visible as the boots or the uniform, is a great example of using all tools and innovations available to play their best. And it worked.

 

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