Return to Play- Player Tracking to the rescue?


During the NBA preseason, Jason Kidd wore a GPS sensor from Catapult that measured acceleration, agility and force, providing baseline numbers. During the season, when Kidd was recovering from injury, the trainers had him again wear the device to measure how close he was to 100 percent.

If we jumped the shark earlier, this was Evel Kinievel. Using accelerometry for return to play? This is getting to the point people need to speak up with best practices and common sense. Use video analysis and communication with the athlete. Maybe a few speed and agility tests, but Catapult? The Eagles are smart to use player tracking as I think it has a good indication of volume, but microscope and telecopes are drastically different tools, even if you are looking through a similar lens. I don’t know what people are thinking they are getting from estimations of load with center of masses when the complexity of a human leg in motion is far different than a screen showing helmets or repeated sprints in meters per second. It’s glorified Tecmo Bowl, but at least that game had a soundtrack. For those even older than 30, it’s electronic football, but we hope it’s not Bill and Ted playing against Death. I think a smart decision is to look at the injury data and see movement with our eyes up close and even listen. We can record it to break it down later, but live performances with the right process is far better than the wrong technology forced through the wrong hole.

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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