Getting the most from GPS Monitoring (Part 3)

We’ve recently been looking at some learnings – both my own over many years and from other coaches & performance staff – with a focus on the detail of getting the very maximum value from your investment in GPS monitoring for your team/club. With many clubs entering into this space it’s vital that staff at multiple levels of the club understand just the approach and mindsets that will ultimately ensure that such an investment can be a vital part of preparations and ultimately become cost neutral.

To quickly follow on from Part 1 and Part 2 let’s understand some more about what we need to be conscious of when making our investment…….

• Understand what your need from your solution – if you value reliability and accuracy then you may wish to look beyond solutions that may offer cheap entry prices but ultimately only consumer-grade performance. Only solutions developed and refined over many years for team-use will truly offer the solution coaches/performance staff require. An understanding of the ‘cost’ of a solution as distinct from the ‘price’ is vital — what am I losing out on by grabbing the cheaper ‘price’?? Why do I think the cheaper price offers a better fit for me?? Is it right to commoditise this decision solely through the lens of price??

• Introducing player monitoring into your program may not be easy – simple but not easy. Patience is the order of the day in that regard – patience with the new practice and patience until you have enough information to generate important insights.

• You are investing to, ultimately, bring about behavioural change – however just having a GPS player-monitoring solution does not work and just gathering information alone does not lead to behavioural changes – you need the right support system to turn that info into actionable insights.

• Language is the most important tool in performance and coaching – learn to translate your player monitoring insights into coach-speak and player-speak to get full buy-in, understanding and benefit.

• Players are creatures of habit – video analysis gives us the what and how answers……GPS monitoring affords us insights into ‘why’ —> learn the habits, good and not-so-good, and work towards leveraging improvement.

• Going with your coaches ‘gut feel’ is right and appropriate – but only if you have a well developed and smart ‘gut’. Use the insights generated by monitoring to develop your instinct and gut feel. Remember that you may be coaching 15 years – but if you’ve coached one year fifteen times then gut feel will need a little help! 

• Make your monitoring as relative as possible – everyone is different. Look more at % rather than absolute numbers and values.

• Involve players in the conversation – use the data to prompt mature conversations. Many younger players are digital natives…..they expect data and technology that will support their development.

• Enjoy the journey – creating a robust monitoring process takes time…..why not create your own benchmarks that will help you observe training load over a meso-cycle or season – better again a customisable Training Load tool (pic below) will do that for you!!


Call me today for more detail – always happy to have a phone or Skype conversation or to even have a chat over a coffee!!

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Paul Clarke

Since 2002 Paul has developed a reputation for expertise in the vital performance-related areas of coaching, S&C, sports science and performance analysis. Teams, clubs, organisations, coaches and players from Ireland, UK, Europe and beyond have benefitted from the insights offered by the Match-Fit business as a result of the tailored and customised approach taken to creating a performance solution specific to each client. Through keeping performance and the player at the heart of all solutions, Match-Fit clients have realised that the solutions delivered not only benefit competitive performance but also the club/organisation as a complete sporting business entity.

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