Home Football Can Technology Help Minimize The Risk Of Injury In Soccer?

Can Technology Help Minimize The Risk Of Injury In Soccer?

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One of the main objectives of any LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank club is that the health of its players is the best possible. For this reason, they are very interested and particularly welcome any tool that can help them measure the physical performance of their footballers and minimize the risk of injury. One of these sources of information, which provides you with a large amount of data in this regard, is Media coach.

Preventing an injury 100% is a practically impossible mission. However, there is evidence that certain muscle problems are closely related to the accumulated minute overload between training and competition. For this reason, having the appropriate tools that provide data to the coaching staff and, especially, the physical trainers of the teams and that help them, thus, to make certain decisions is essential to minimize the risk of suffering an injury.

At present, clubs have two ways of obtaining objective data on the physical performance of players. During workouts, they get them through GPS devices that they place on their own body. For a few years, in Spain, it is allowed to use these devices, also, during the competition. The second formula they have to get hold of them during matches is the tracking system used by Mediacoach cameras, the tool developed by LaLiga to provide the technical bodies of the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank teams with all the information necessary to analyze and improve their performance. It is a non-invasive system for the footballer and its reliability is not subject to external factors, such as batteries, the weather, or the quality of the GPS signal.

The main purpose of gathering this data is that the teams know what physical demands the competition demands of them, which will be different from one team to another depending, for example, on the characteristics of their players. Each team is going to have certain demands that it has to respond to and, thanks to the data provided by Mediacoach, it can find out countless statistics around its players, throughout a season or several, to be able to draw their profile or even the profile of a certain position.

In other words, knowing what the competition requires of each of the demarcations on the field ”, explains Fabio Nevado, football analyst technician of the Sports Area and Media coach. Each club starts from this methodological concept to plan their training sessions and, also supported by the data provided by GPS devices, they can find the best way to manage and provide the appropriate stimuli for each training session.

Media coach Live and Mediacoach Mobile, for their part, are the applications that provide technical teams with the possibility of accessing both technical, tactical, and physical data that the players are marking during matches. They also allow setting alerts that can be preconfigured before the crash begins.

For example, they can notify a physical trainer that a certain footballer has reached a certain value of distance traveled or has sprinted a certain number of times. This makes it possible to have the player under control so that both the coach, the coach, and the coaching staff know what his performance is being at that specific moment says Fabio Nevado. This not only helps to make decisions to minimize the risk of injury but is also very useful to assess, for example, how a player is performing on the field when he returns to the team after an injury that he has suffered. out for a while. In this case,

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“It is not about the ability to predict injuries, because this would be practically impossible, but about detecting the load volume thresholds from which a player enters the risk zone. Because, then, there are players who are injured without having exceeded these thresholds and many others who are not injured despite exceeding them.

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The stress and competitive tension generated by the match also carry an important weight, although they cannot be measured. We are talking about identifying risk as a preventive measure, explains Ricardo Resta, director of the Sports Area and Media coach.

All this data also helps to create a historical base from which knowledge is generated. Using this tool it is possible to observe how a footballer, even without being injured, can score lower than his usual values. “This may indicate that the player is in a state of fatigue, which may be caused by an acute overload because, for example, he has been playing complicated games for several weeks in a row with a special demand for physical deployments, such as the games that are to go back.

In this case, the coach may decide to change it, because he is not responding at his usual level. adds the analyst technician. When an injury is diagnosed, it is studied what load and performance levels it has had in previous weeks to create a pattern that allows recognizing and anticipating a possible injury the next time these parameters are detected.

the variablesThat help technical bodies to minimize the risk of these physical problems appearing are innumerable. From LaLiga, for example, some stand out such as the speed traveled at more than 24 km / h. in terms of sprint or distances covered at speeds above 85% and 90% of each player’s maximum speed.

At the scientific level, two things are being analyzed in depth. The first is the distances traveled above 85% of the player’s maximum speed or the distance traveled at more than 28 km / h since it seems that these high-intensity efforts are the ones that are most related to muscle injuries. And, on the other hand, accelerations, and decelerations, because is a type of action that until just a few years ago had not been measured with the level of precision and reliability sufficient to take them into account. Luckily, the technology has already evolved so much as to achieve this explains Fabio Nevado.

The Work Of The Physical Trainer And The Responsibility Of The Coach

During the last years, the physical trainers of the clubs have shown a lot of interest in this type of measurement and, even, have come to propose to LaLiga small evolutions that allow them to adapt these data to their own methods of quantification and control of loads. Each professional has their own formula to try to minimize the risk of injury depending on different reasons, such as the work methodology used or the resources available.

In our case, to obtain physical data, we have chosen to use GPS devices during training sessions and use the tracking provided by Mediacoach during matches. This decision has been made, mainly, to give comfort to the player and respect the mystique, let’s call it that, which occurs in the previous matches. We want the player to be focused exclusively on the game plan, on the coach’s instructions, and on complying with his habits of preparation for the game, from the emotional-volitional to the conditional ones. We prefer to assume the difference that may exist between the two measurement systems, Óscar Caro and Pepe Conde, physical trainers of Sevilla FC.

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In the Andalusian club, they study the data as the prelude to something that may appear: “The data, by itself, says very little. What we try is to treat it and relate it to look for indicators and pre-indices that allow us to anticipate the injury. This is very difficult because what we are looking for is to anticipate an event to occur, but today, thanks to advances in tools, scientific and pragmatic knowledge, and the proper use of statistics we can generate very reliable alarm markers.

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For example, some may warn us that the footballer is throwing data out of his individual trend and, based on this trend, we calculate, for each player, dynamic security thresholds were rising or falling peaks have to be analyzed with more detail if possible. With load control, among other things, We try that the individual evolution of the trend of the analyzed variables presents safe fluctuations. And this information obtained must lead us to some practical application. If not, the data becomes cold and useless, like a billiard ball in the middle of the Siberian steppe they explain.

The physical trainers of Sevilla FC also highlight the importance of the correlation of quantitative data with qualitative data: The player is an organic reality influenced by different dimensions, such as emotional and social dimensions, as well as being conditioned by his experiences and customs, that is, by their context. Not attending to or correlating the quantitative data with the qualitative and subjective data, we understand that it would be a mistake.

You have to know how to listen to a footballer because the information he gives us is of great value in preventing injuries and optimizing performance. Also, they warn of the need to choose between all the variables available today. Returning to the data, it is essential to choose, among a large number of variables available to analyze, those that we are really going to use to obtain information that leads us to make decisions that have a practical application.

That is those data that really help us to generate modifications in the orientation and design of the training. Analyzing less useful data can waste our time, something that is essential to avoid when managing in the elite, even more so with the density of competition we currently have ”, conclude the physical trainers of Sevilla FC.

LaLiga has been working for years so that Mediacoach continues to gain strength and gain the trust of these professionals from the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank teams. “Initially, they relied more on the data provided by a device that players wore attached to their body than on those that could come out of a camera, but little by little, thanks to the robust work that the Mediacoach team has done to try to show the quality of our information, we have earned this recognition explains Roberto Lopez, coordinator of the Mediacoach project and the Sports Research Area.

This has also been achieved through the development of studies such as the one published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE: A comparison of GPS device and a multi-camera video technology during official soccer matches: Agreement between systems, which have helped to achieve that degree of confidence: We did one with FC Barcelona B in which about eight players had a GPS device during the matches and we compare their data with those that our cameras gave us.

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The results showed that for certain metrics, such as distance traveled, the difference was always less than 1%. That is to say, practically, the results were the same.

In a different season, in which the schedules are especially full, taking care of the player’s health is essential and any tool that can help minimize the risk of injury is always welcome. The rotations can be presented as a solution so that the players can increase their time off, but some are such a key part of the team that costs a lot of them to sit on the bench. However, thanks to these types of measurements, it is possible to control very well what its charge level is at all times.

It may happen that, depending on how the result of a match is and the importance of obtaining the three points, a player with high load levels must play a particular match. Thanks to the live monitoring tool Mediacoach Live, the physical trainer of his team can see how his performance is being during the clash and, if certain marks are exceeded, he can inform the coaching staff so that they can decide if it is a good time to reserve it and take him to the bench argues Roberto Lopez. In fact, LaLiga has recently presented Mediacoach Mobile, an application of the Live tool for mobile phones that aims to make access to this data even easier, both those collected in real-time and those that can be found in the reports.

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The coach’s task is not simple in this sense, but it is important to understand that this criterion exists behind when making decisions. Today, their work, in this sense, is not easy, both due to internal management and external perception. There are times that, from the outside, some decisions are not understood when a player is not in the starting eleven or is substituted when he is playing well.

The reason why certain players are rotated or why they are given rest, more and more, is based on criteria and data that have been widely studied by the technical bodies of the teams. On other occasions it also happens the other way around and, when there are situations of maximum competitive demand and immediate results, risks are taken with certain players who are considered important. But it is essential to understand that, before doing so, all these decisions are made conscientiously. And in both cases, you have to be understanding of the complexity of taking them because surely they will be measured by the result and the consequences.

In high-level football there will always be injuries and there are no infallible methods, but we work hard and well although sometimes the numbers seem to indicate otherwise, ”says Ricardo Resta. The goal, in any case, is always the same: to take care of the player’s health, the most valuable asset of the teams and LaLiga. but they work hard and well even though sometimes the numbers seem to indicate the opposite says, Ricardo Resta.

The goal, in any case, is always the same: to take care of the player’s health, the most valuable asset of the teams and LaLiga. but they work hard and well even though sometimes the numbers seem to indicate the opposite says, Ricardo Resta. The goal, in any case, is always the same: to take care of the player’s health, the most valuable asset of the teams and LaLiga.

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