The importance of performance monitoring, in today’s football, is widely known. According to Black et al (2016), the ability of monitoring training loads … is of the utmost importance for the athlete’s readiness and the prevention of injuries.
There are two main reasons why it is necessary to record performance:
First, to make sure that footballers perform at their highest level, and second, to minimize the negative effects that can be caused by training such as excessive fatigue, overtraining or detraining. In addition, proper use of performance monitoring systems can contribute significantly to injury prevention.
In addition, through long and continuous performance recording, we are able to know the needs of the sport and more specifically the demands of the game of each position. This way we can maximize the performance of our players through personalized training.
But what is the difference between post-workout performance analysis and live monitoring during training?
The ability of modern systems for live monitoring of performance, gives the advantage to trainers - coaches to accurately control training loads.
Many experienced trainers believe that through their years in the sport, they can now calculate the loads the players receive. Human memory is limited, so it is almost impossible to remember all the events that took place during a game, let alone the parameters of performance. The research by Franks and Miller (1986) showed that less than 45% of football coaches who participated were correct in their post-match evaluation of the events that occurred.
Even though some coaches through their experience can actually calculate the external loads in some way, there is no way they can control the internal loads - heart rate (HR). The HR of our players shows their response to external loads and can vary greatly from athlete to athlete. Keeping that in mind, we are able to know when a player needs more, or less intensity in his training than the average of the team.
Two players run from box to box at a speed of 15km / h. Player (A) works at 90% of his maximal heart rate (HR max), while player (B) works at his 80% HR max. This shows us that for the purpose of the exercise, the speed at which player (A) runs is ideal for his improvement, while player (B) needs to run at a faster speed to obtain the adaptations we want him to.
By monitoring the external loads that players receive during training, we can also check when a player underperforms and intervene where needed. In addition, knowing the requirements of the game, for each position we can complete customized training when needed.
We find that during a mid-week training session, in which we aim to charge players with high loads, our wide defenders (as shown in the graphs below) have not been exposed to high intensity runs. Since the needs of the game for this position require high speed runs, we decide that those players will stay after completing the training session for additional, personalized training.