Meet Konrad: Improve Performance With PLAYR GPS Technology
Growing up adoring football, the sport has allowed me to be involved with everything related to the game. From what they eat, to how they train and even what they wear, I’m all over it. I’m not professional but I’m also not bad enough to be an average player – I’m what some in the industry may call an ‘elite-aspirer’. I train hard, I focus on football alongside my job, and my day-to-day work revolves around the beautiful game and content.
I first encountered wearable football GPS technology this year and was very lucky to be involved with the launch of PLAYR. Again, coming from a non-professional background, you’re almost never going to have access to the technology used by professionals, but with PLAYR, the game-changing parameters are right at your fingertips.
To put things into perspective: I’m 23, 5’10 and I weigh around 63kg. I’m not particularly tall, fast or strong, but I’ve got a serious engine, or so I think. I pride myself on my technical ability, and I believe I have the positional awareness to match.
I managed to run a solid 9.33km during my latest match, a decent total above the community average which totals around 7.4km, but still slightly short of a professional’s average of 10km. Generally speaking, anything close to 8/9km is a good start, but you’ll start to see the difference in conditioning between a professional and non-professional.
The five-minute graph shows exactly why Premier League players get paid the big bucks: maintained fitness for 90 minutes. Naturally my distance decreased five minutes towards the end of the first half and over the 90 minutes as a whole, leaving me with room to improve.
Looking at the heat map, during the first half I remained in a central midfield position on the right and was more defensive than attacking. I feel like I should have got further forward given how the game was going, although in the second half I roamed more, broke into the opposition box and got down their wing. I’m certainly happier with my positioning after the break.
In terms of top speed there’s not too much to be said: 7.7m/s. It’s a decent level, but my highest numbers were clocked in during defensive recoveries. While I was relieved to be 0.1m/s faster than the community average, I was some way off the 9.2m/s professionals produce.
With the five-minute breakdown, interestingly, it looks like a more intense second half of sprints overall with two thirds of my fastest sprints occurring in the last 20 minutes of the game.
There are always questions about what “POWER” is in-app and to put it simply: power is any explosive movement sustained for around two seconds which is essentially a quick acceleration, deceleration or change in direction.
Power plays are one of the hardest criteria to fulfil as professionals change direction and speed around 70-100 times in a game, while the recommended amount for my central midfield role is 78 power plays – I managed a personal best of 51.
I recorded 27 first-half explosive movements and 19 after the break, although like the amount of distance I covered, my power plays declined as the game went on. While this is something I do need to work on, the directional map shows I was tracking back as well as get forward.
Relating back to my intro: I’m not the fastest player, I don’t sprint much and instead cover a lot of distance.
The recommended sprint distance for a game of this intensity was 960 metres and I came in at just over half: 549metres. It’s OK and from the graph you can see again, my sprinting was more intense in the later stages of the game.
PLAYR gives you access to every necessary physical parameter that footballers are judged on. The data immediately gives you pivotal information on intensity and load from a training session or match so you can see your strengths and weaknesses.
It was very interesting to realise that although my engine in the second half slows down, I seem to play more reactively, preferring to press and produce explosive sprints with the ball. On reflection this could be because my warm up wasn’t long enough or I wasn’t in ‘the zone’, but it’s important to see what I need to adjust when it comes to match day.
Get your PLAYR system.