Football has evolved dramatically in recent years. The sport has progressed in tandem with technology to analyze diet and sleep, dive further into the tactical analysis, and increase physical fitness, to mention a few. The usage of “performance monitoring vests”, such as the Catapult smart vest called Playertek, on athletes in training has piqued the interest of many observers.
They may be seen from a mile away, embracing a player’s chest as he prepares for the big game this weekend. We were fortunate to obtain a pair from Weston Corp to put the vest through its paces.
The data obtained from these vests often measure the distance travelled and the intensity of their runs to determine whether the player is under-performing, weary or improving in their fitness from week to week. How did we do in the games we participated in? Let us explore.
The Playertek vest arrives in an incredibly quality package, as expected. We imagined nothing less from the product’s makers, Catapult, for a $249 set. When you open the package, you’ll find the vest, the tracking pod, a charging cord, and basic documentation instructing you to download the App for iOS and/or Android.
Before using the pod in the field, make sure to fully charge it for at least one hour and sign up for an account on the app. You’d need to connect the pod to your phone to transfer data to the app. FYI, the pod lasts over 6 hours on a full charge, so you can play from game to game without charging. With all of your preparation work completed, you’re now ready to monitor your performance like a pro.
Getting Started With Playertek (Catapult Smart Vest)
Turn on the tracking pod 5 minutes before your game or training session so it can obtain a sense of where you are about the rest of the world. There is a thin, flexible material in front of the vest and a thicker, foamy fabric in the rear. The vest should be simple to put on.
The vest fits tightly without giving any breathing issues, although despite trying the Playertek vest at night, We feel a little warm in them for the first 10 minutes. Because this is the humidity of Singapore. However, within the first ten minutes, you won’t even be aware of its presence anymore. When you’re in your game, sync the data between the pod and your phone.
Performance Data In Your Hands
If you like numbers, we are sure you’ll enjoy reviewing the statistics accessible to you after your game. If you don’t like numbers, don’t worry since the App shows the data in the most user-friendly manner possible in tables and graphs.
The GPS from Playertek is very accurate. We started the game in defensive midfield before transitioning to a box-to-box midfield role in the second half of an 11-aside match. In the heat map on the left, observe the lateral line across the perimeter of the penalty box.
When we were moving up for set pieces, we monitored that region. You’ll also note the app’s distance travelled, amount of sprints, and intensity of those runs. Overall, quite great work.
Keeping It Social
Football is, after all, a social sport. Since you can see how you stack up against other players worldwide, Playertek takes advantage of this. Do you have any friends that also own a Playertek vest? Add them to your app and you may establish a short league to compete with your friends on who has run the hardest and fastest this season.
Seeing this was disappointing that we were only in the 20th percentile for mileage travelled this season. We are sure it’ll be complex to catch up with the high echelons of the database, but it served as a nice reminder to try harder with each game.
From Premier League To Sunday League
Trophy hunters include amateurs as well as pros. The Playertek vest would be equally helpful for Sunday League regulars trying to get a little bit more out of their game. Keeping track of your runs and distances is a great way to create goals for yourself during the season. You may also use the heat map to identify whether you have a habit of moving out of position in the middle of a match.
The tracker isn’t as crisp to follow your motions in a smaller location. While We regularly clock in 5-6km in a 2-hour 5-a-side game, the app only registered approximately 1.5km. When you sync your pod, the app prompts you to enter the pitch measures. However, it’s not particularly precise on a smaller pitch.
In any case, Playertek is an incredible tool for the average player looking to improve their performance and fitness levels. For those who are serious about football, put on a vest.
Features Of Catapult Smart Vest
With the advent of the Playertek Smart vest, Catapult Sports is now providing want-to-be Zlatan and Ngolo Kante a chance to examine how they stack up to their colleagues and professional footballers.
The Smart compression crop top has a tiny tracking pod with GPS, an accelerometer, and a magnetometer. A 500mAh battery and 8GB storage can record seven hours of gaming time and 1,250 hours of data, respectively.
The pod can follow players on the field, whether during a game or in training. It will track mileage travelled, sprint distance, sprints completed, and sprint distance. Heat maps may generate to show you where you’ve been slacking off, so you’ll know exactly where you need to improve.
If you routinely play a 90-minute game, you may compare numbers from the first and second halves to determine whether your performance lowers and if you need to work harder in those training sessions.
It’s all linked through Bluetooth to the associated iPhone app, and you can check how your product compares to Premier League players and create global and friends leagues to climb the ladder. You may be selected for the Team of the Week if your efforts have been outstanding.
The analytics firm’s technology has been the go-to option for a few sports teams in football, American football, rugby, and Australian rules football. Catapult’s superior monitoring infrastructure is used by current Premier League winners Leicester City, along with Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur, who are vying for the crown this year.
Last year, Catapult bought GPS tracking technology startup PlayerTek, which drives the open-source setup. The Playertek package, which includes the tracker pod and vest, is currently available for pre-order for £199. If you need a spare vest, you’ll pay a modest £25.
It isn’t the first football-themed wearable we’ve come across. Adidas released the MiCoach speed cell sensor a few years ago, which can be worn on compatible Adidas footwear and monitors data such as distance, speed, speed zones, and sprint count.
Zepp, which currently tracks golf, tennis, and baseball, has lately released Play Soccer. The linked module fits into a calf sleeve that may be worn inside a pair of football socks and claims to measure many parameters such as distance traveled, sprints, average speed, kicks, and shot conversion rates.
The significant distinction here is that Catapult’s technology is now being employed by many top sports teams. So, if you want to train like a pro, you and your colleagues will require this attached crop top.
These are the sort of applications of smart clothing that look like it is going to be quite popular in the future.