When working with the Sonda Sports system in the first season, Górnik Zabrze won the central U-18 Youth League and was promoted to the Youth Champions League. The conclusions that were drawn thanks to the training monitoring not only helped to achieve a measurable sports effect. Today it allows players to develop faster.
The analysis of training data using the Sonda Sports system is one of the key elements in the work of training staff with CLJ U-18 Górnik Zabrze players. The obtained data help us create training plans, improve the team’s performance and optimize the development of players, which results in measurable sports effects. Already in the first year of work with Sonda, the U-18 Górnik Zabrze team took first place in the Central Junior League, qualifying for the Youth Champions League.
- Evaluation of the player’s motor skills – creating standards for age categories.
To prepare the team for the season, plan training microcycles and start analyzing data on the level of motor preparation in youth teams, first you need to create a system of standards for age categories. And this is where the Sonda Sports GPS monitoring helped us. At the Górnik Zabrze Academy we use the obtained data in the way to plan individual training sessions, training units and the adaptation of players to increasingly greater loads.
The question that arose in the first weeks of working with Sonda, to which we are still looking for a complete answer after almost a year, is: are the parameters obtained by the player in a given age category during the match or training session on the average, good or weak level? Does the fact that player X, evaluated through the prism of motor parameters, performs better than the rest (achieves more sprints, accelerations, runs longer distances, etc.) during a match or just stands out from the weak ones? Therefore, our main challenge in working with Sonda Sports was to manage the amount of data and select the factors that are most important to assess the physical parameters, current disposition and potential of the player.
Another thing was to determine whether the players meet our demands that predispose them to play on the highest level, so they can compare themselves with the professional players. The number of sprints performed in a match by our CLJ U-18 player, the percentage of athlete’s sprints playing, for example, in the Premier League etc. Comparing them with peers and professional players allowed us to establish what level they are at. When we obtained these data, we asked ourselves another question: how much does the level of the players result from their development stage, and how much from the intensity, training loads and environment in which the competition takes place? After all, CLJ U-18 matches will not create the conditions that professional players have to face, so they will not be able to achieve similar parameters. That is why it is so important to create standards for given age categories by which we can evaluate players using the Sonda Sport system.
- Diagnosis of deficits and strengths of the player – tips for individual training.
Data collected from the monitoring were used to diagnose the deficits of individual players. For example, in a training session or a match, the average number of team sprints was X, and the average number of accelerators was Y. Analyzing the information from training units or matches, one could notice that individual players whose football rating against the team was good or very good had a smaller number of specific parameters than the team average. The number of motor activities performed did not result from the position on the pitch, as other players in the same position also achieved better results. In this case, the information obtained during the data analysis allowed us to draw conclusions essential for the optimization of individual training for a specific player. It also allowed the implementation of individual training both in terms of deficits as well as his strengths as a football player. The main parameters we took into account were the indicators responsible for the dynamics and intensity of the game: the number of sprints and accelerations, the distance covered in the sprint, the distance run after reaching 70% of the maximum running speed and the distance run after reaching 85% of the maximum running speed.
- Training process planning based on the analysis of data from GPS monitoring.
Data monitoring is a tool that guides, but not determines or influences the training process planning. When preparing individual units in a training microcycle, it is important to improve the team functioning in terms of tactical and technical skills. The main goal is to make progress in relation to the last game and the long-term plan, the consequence of which is the development of the athletes. Player development is impossible without taking into account the team and tactics.
After solving the tactical problems, we go back to the motor question. There is the problem of combining tactics with the training pace and intensity – that is, transferring knowledge at the maximum intensity of training sessions. Here we use the data obtained from the training analysis. They are important in the context of training development in the following days and microcycles. For example, the assumption of training based on small games is to solve a given tactical problem, as well as to stimulate motor loads towards strength training (a large number of short accelerations, change of running direction etc.). In our case, the analysis of GPS data showed a smaller or greater than the assumed number of indicators characteristic for explosive motor activities. Here is what we took into account:
- Accelerations / decelerations
- Metabolic Power (per 1 kg of body weight)
- Repeated High Intensity Efforts – activity during which the player achieves three or more times MP > 70% in relation to his maximum abilities, with an interval of no more than 21 seconds between each greater effort
- Root mean square of changes in increasing and decreasing running pace
This information allowed us to draw conclusions about the need to boost the training with physical exercises isolated from the ball, which usually take place at the end of the class and are designed to improve the motor functions on a given day. In the case of strength training, these were additional elements of an explosive run containing changing in the directions, decelerations and accelerations.
In the case of endurance training, the analysis showed that due to coaching some training games lost their intensity.
- Player Load
- Player Load / min
Knowing about it changed our approach to transferring knowledge about a given tactical problem in games. We made sure that the transmission of information takes place with the least possible loss of intensity (e.g. by maximizing the use of breaks between game series). This approach is emphasized especially on the day when motor skills become an important element of the macrocycle – Tuesday and Wednesday in a typical microcycle, and when the match is on Saturday (balance between coaching and intensity).
In turn, the analysis of speed-shaping training allowed us to select the appropriate forms of game fragments in order to achieve a greater number of sprints and meters covered in a sprint depending on the goals set, as well as to verify whether the training goal was achieved.
- Training and its reference to the number of sprints, accelerations and high intensity distance.
One of the most important parameters obtained from the Sonda Sports system, which determined the quality of training units, was the distance covered by the players at high intensity (HID – distance covered by the player after exceeding 70% of the maximum running speed, VHID – distance covered by the player after exceeding 85% of the maximum speed running and HLMD – distance run after generating metabolic power> 20 Watt / kg body weight). These data allowed us to control and verify the training process – the selection of games, fields to play, the number of players and their tasks in such a way that the parameters achieved by players are as high as possible, which translates into a better adaptation of players to high requirements in modern football.
- To what extent does training focused on building a football team help to achieve high intensity?
How intensive is the training with a typical football specificity, focused on understanding the game and solving problems on the pitch through coaching interference, for example by asking questions, guiding players to solve given pitch situations? What is more important in the age categories: intensity or acquired knowledge and skills? Most coaches believe in knowledge and skills. This is probably the correct answer, but on the other hand, high-level games are not possible without adapting to high loads. The experience gained through working with the Sonda Sports system allows you to find a balance between high intensity of the game and cognitive aspects necessary in the process of learning, acquiring knowledge and skills. The analysis of physical parameters allows you to verify individual parts of the training unit – it gives knowledge about the intensity (number of accelerations, decelerations etc.) of a given exercise, which allows coaches to modify their workshop and look for new solutions in order to combine the intensity with the transfer of knowledge (interference in training during its duration).
- Adaptation to increasing loads
Based on the analysis of the data of physical parameters achieved during matches and training sessions, we can obtain information on the intensity of our players (distance covered with intensity over 70 or 85%, Player Load / min, number of sprints, accelerations etc.). Having knowledge about individual players, we are able to choose training measures in such a way as to adapt players to increasingly greater loads. We are able to adjust the training loads so that they stay a tough, but accessible challenge, compared to the current disposition of the players. What is more, we get feedback as to whether our goal has been achieved, i.e. whether the training was sufficient according to the assumptions. The data obtained thanks to training monitoring allow us to objectively assess the condition of our players, effectively and consciously progress them towards greater loads, while having information confirming – or not – the effectiveness of our actions. The feedback obtained from the training analysis allows coaches to evaluate their training workshop and often sheds new light on the effectiveness of their training methods.