Nowadays, soccer is turning to performance analytics experts like STATSports to illuminate aspects of the game that fans miss with the naked eye. We’ve all seen the statistics highlighting “distance covered” and positional heat maps, but what about the details? Sure, it’s interesting to see that a wing-back ran 7 miles in a game, but how much of that distance was sprints versus jogging? STATSports provides futuristically detailed performance data to help players, coaches and amateurs understand where they can improve.
What is STATSports?
On their website, STATSports describe themselves as “the world’s leading player tracking & analysis provider in elite sports”. If you watch the Premier League regularly, then you have seen the sports bra style harnesses for their tracking devices. During training and games, players wear STATSports equipment, and afterwards they analyze their performance data.
Speaking to Tim Stillman of Arseblog News, STATSports Head of Sports Science, Barry Watters explained the benefits of their technology. “A player might run 10 or 11km in a game but really it’s about how you achieve that 10 or 11km. When you look at number of sprints, high intensity sprints, maximum speed achieved, I think it will allow the fan that uses the app to appreciate how good elite players are physically,” Watters said.
In a separate interview with football.london’s Kaya Kaynak, Watters revealed, “On this consumer offering the fan wears the tracker, they sync to the phone application and straight away when you sync…you get an insight into the session, the intensity the strain, and you get access to 16 metrics.” This product arrives as Arsenal are set to provide player data to the public so fans can judge their own fitness levels against those of Gunners.
Why Does STATSports Matter?
Detail matters. Players, coaches and staff are always seeking to better understand performance gaps. And there is even potential for STATSports data to be included on PL broadcasts. “[On] broadcasters as well, eventually, it will get there, at the minute there’s a lot of tactical analysis which everyone loves as well. But the data will start to come in,” says Watters. Arguably more important, however, is the data STATSports technology provides to help avert serious injuries and prolong peak performance years.
Club medical staff, data scientists, players and coaches have access to 250 metrics through the Sonra software platform of STATSports. With such a detailed accounting of a player’s fitness levels, everyone involved is able to make informed decisions about player welfare. Gone are the days of simply relying on “gut feelings” and best guesses.