| Written By Nick Giles

Soccer Assist – How GPS technology helps us send players to America

No longer exclusive to elite level players, GPS tracking gives quantifiable data to players and coaches. At Soccer Assist, we use PLAYR’s GPS tracker to evaluate those who come attend our trial days…

A Mountain To Climb – Trial Days

Before we incorporated PLAYR into our trial days, we could only judge our trialists on what we saw in the moment. A 30 metre and 60 metre dash was the extent of our testing. It wasn’t enough. Being able to accurately measure the explosiveness, distance covered and maximum sprint speed of our trialists was crucial in understanding how exceptional they really were. Without these measurements, we had nothing. There was no data for our players to see how well they had performed or compare to players in the U.S. The problem only got worse when we realised what American coaches were looking for…numbers.

They wanted cold hard facts. American coaches could only glean so much from watching highlight tapes. They were not able to quantify the work rate of a trialist. For a coach that had a limited number of places in the roster to give out to International student-athletes, this was necessary information. The odds of an athletic department giving out a full scholarship based solely off a three-minute video were slim to none.

More Than Numbers

PLAYR enabled us to offer something more. Using PLAYR GPS meant we could give our trialists data on how well their performance and it also meant that we could compare their performances to those prospects in American colleges.

Each player at the trial days were equipped with PLAYR vests for the entirety of the day. As soon as the vests go on, the trialists know that they are not only being compared to the guy next to them but also to players thousands of miles away. They work harder because of this – a lot harder. A plethora of statistics – like the distance covered, average sprint speed and number of power plays completed – are tracked through these vests and recorded in the PLAYR app. At the end of the day, when the vests are collected, the trialists know that the enormous effort they showed towards everything we put them through was all worth it.

The PLAYR vests are also used on our showcase days. American coaches are invited down to witness for themselves how a player would fit into their team. With the technology provided to us by PLAYR, their job is made even easier. The statistics that we now have mean that previously unheralded players can share some of the spotlight. These coaches are hunting for the next Messi and Busquets. PLAYR gives coaches the opportunity to analyse players in quantifiable depth.

Currently, PLAYR tech is an integral part of our trial days and showcase days. It plays an ever-increasing role in how we train and analyse our players.

Who are Soccer Assist?

Soccer Assist help student-athletes gain acceptance into American universities through the use of soccer scholarships. From assisting with necessary VISA paperwork to helping student-athletes transfer from one college to another, we support their entire experience so that they can have the best time at a college or university of their choosing.

This experience starts with a trial day. Only those that are of an exceptional athletic and academic standard are taken on. Meeting these criteria means that we can assist them throughout the entire scholarship process so that our trialists can achieve their dreams of playing soccer in the States.

Upcoming trial days: https://www.soccer-assist.co.uk/trials

Soccer scholarships in more detail: https://www.soccer-assist.co.uk/scholarships

Written by Adam Clayton.