Catapulting the Shark?


Piggybacking off Catapult’s experience with dozens of football programs around the world, the goalkeeping algorithm will be the first of many specified approaches to performance analysis on the cards in the coming months- with specific algorithms for Australian Rules football kicking, American football quarterback movements, and baseball pitchers all in early development.

-Catapult Sports

Baseball pitchers and GPS? I specifically warned that using GPS for baseball is like the IAAF or IOC using a sundial to do splits for Usain Bolt during London. The hardware is too limited to see issues with limbs, and no matter what think tank they get in Australia, nobody is going to see that time of sensitive impact on throwing in the MLB. Algorithms are used a little too much now and we are putting a big expectation on such equipment. On the other hand, l like the fact that coaches are talking about this and trying. Catapult is the leader in GPS systems currently, but after using a 80 Euro opensource product with better hardware, GPS companies like Catapult sports are going to get a little crowded by 3-D printers at colleges making them inhouse. In fact, one college is investing into a Makerbot and using DIY plans from super users. Disruptive innovation is coming, and pricewars and software features are going to be expected.

Don’t worry if your team doesn’t use GPS and Tracking, or have the hottest consultant selling dashboards and medical software. The reality is logic and math can help you sort workouts and training to get adaptations, not just glorified chess pieces on a computer screen. I believe that GPS is a great way to look at distribution and output, but not sensitive enough for anything beyond volume and general velocities. In fact, here is a table freely available to look at how velocities can help with training for Tempo running or looking at how horizontal jumps can be converted from max speed testing. When someone says 7 meters per second is sprinting, only if it’s the first 15 meters of acceleration. I can nearly run a mile at that speed at peak form, hardly a sprint, and using calorie tables down to the fraction of a calorie is strange when meals need to be looking at micronutrients instead of micro calories.

The strange thing is the marketing art with game data in the NFL. Unless sport changes and allows coaches and staff to make adjustments on GPS and tracking data, what is the purpose of showing small sided games and walk through half court practices in the NBA? Using TRIMPS isn’t perfect, but how much better is GPS and Indoor Tracking options when they are using center of mass. Even with the new foot sensors by new start-up ShadowStep, one has to be very knowledgable about foot structure and EMG to make an intervention. Showing data on a dashboard is like a rocket scientist showing the problem of getting a shuttle to the moon and walking away. One needs to anticipate what one can do with the data to start creating intervention push lists or it’s just autopsy data.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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