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Athletes wearing data monitors at a training session during the demonstration of the Inmotio tracking system at Aspire Academy, yesterday. (Shaival Dalal)
By Isabel Ovalle
DOHA: Aspire Academy is using a high-tech system to track movements of football players during practice. The state-of-the-art system is called Inmotio and is also used by top division European football clubs.
Aspire Academy is the first to use this technology in the Middle East, which will soon be used by the Qatar national team. Four fields at Aspire Zone are equipped with this technology, which requires four cameras in each corner of every field.
The players wear a special vest with a transponder that transmits the real-time performance data via antennas to the base stations. The position measurements are shown both in 2D and 3D by the application software.
The coach can study the different real-time data from every possible position on a tablet or PC and is therefore able to make changes to the training programme for an individual athlete immediately.
A link to a synchronised video system also provides the footage that is made during the training, in addition to the real-time performance data recorded. The monitoring system also makes it possible to review the training session and particular training situations afterwards with athletes.
After a live demonstration, Professor Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance and Science at Aspire Academy, said that six teams at the academy have been using this technology since September. “This system gives the opportunity to collect data during the training session, which is very important to organise the training programme, offering physical, technical and tactical information,” he said.
Ultimately, the coach can see the field through the eyes of the player. For instance, in a standard exercise of seven against seven, the trainer can check how players move, “tactically we have lots of information because we can see the distance between the players and correct right away”, added Di Salvo.
The programme also allows the coach to gather information about one player in particular, track him and see all his movements and have access to data about what they are doing physically, like speed, number of kilometres, heart rate, and other parameters.
This technology cannot be used during games because the federation does not allow it. However, its use during training is positive to improve a player’s performance. Di Salvo said that “video analysis makes it easier to understand what the player did, control the load of the training session and personalise training programmes.”