IF you have watched the Sri Lankan players on field you would have seen the blue-and-green light blinking from a device attached to their backs. It’s a GPS device, given by their high-performance centre, to monitor the fitness and intensity levels. The wearable technology allows the trainers to track their players closely, record their athletic performances, and use the data to analyse their efficiency.
The GPS technology was brought from Barcelona through Nic Pothas, the fielding coach who had first pitched the idea to enhance the fielding standards in the team.
It helps Sri Lankan support staff to monitor Sri Lankan players on field and during training. With help of GPS device the trainers and physios get on-field data like intensity levels and the time spent moving up and side ways. The data is automatically fed in players profile, and Simon Willis, who is head of the high performance centre says, informed decisions can be taken about the workloads of players – what’s optimum for individual players during training. “The data helps us to get live updates; it helps the support staff. This system will allow evidence-based decisions to be made.,” Willis said.
Willis explains how the technology has helped in lessening the injuries.
“When I joined, there were nine players out due to muscle injury. And now, touchwood, the number has come down from nine to two”. Willis says in today’s time, it is important to manage players’ workload and there should be proper management system to help players know about their efficiency levels, and what more they need to do to get better. “The player workload going forward for Sri Lanka’s cricketers is massive, the fixtures over the next 18 months is huge. We need our best players available for the biggest tournaments. It has helped us to not just understand players better but also to better predict when to rest a certain player,” Willis added. Football teams world over have been using the GPS concept. In India, the well known football club Bengaluru FC have used this wearable technology to monitor player performance.