The Genoa Fitness Coach talks about his experience with the GPEXE monitoring system.
Alessandro Pilati and Paolo Barbero are responsible for the strength and conditioning training of Genoa’s cricket and football team. Data analyst Luca Trucchi recently joined the staff with the aim of helping the two with data assessment. We met them and had a brief talk about the GPS monitoring system.
How often do you use GPS devices?
We tend to use them every time we assume that the training might be significant in terms of data evaluation. On a general basis, though, the athletes don’t wear them on Saturdays when the coach is mainly focused on tactics and asks the players to perform exercise drills which involve minimal running. We basically consider the training as the result of a single session/as a whole unless the workout entails the completion of very different kinds of activities such as ball drills or dry land exercises. In that specific case, we prefer to split it into two or more sessions.
How do you handle the entire GPS monitoring process?
At the end of the training, the GPS operator collects all data stored in the devices so that the reports of the overall performance might be delivered to the athletes. When needed, he can also divide the training phases into several recording session. Data analysis is carried out by the strength and conditioning staff who then discusses any unexpected results with the coach. All staff members have direct access to the web platform and thus have the opportunity to retrieve data whenever they need them. We noticed that, in the majority of cases, all reports are made available within an hour.
Which are the most important parameters in terms of data analysis and how do you assess them?
Well, I would say that we basically take into consideration the following parameters: the overall distance measured during exercise, the average speed and the actual distance covered above a certain speed and metabolic power threshold. We do not tend to attach too much importance to role or team average values since our main aim is to monitor the general trend of the players over time. We might obtain very useful information in terms of performance assessment if we ask the athletes to repeat the same exercise drills over different sessions too and, undoubtedly, a correlation between data collected during the match and those gathered during training should always be established.
Do data tend to influence the overall training schedule?
They don’t actually even though an evaluation of the players’ workload is fundamental to refine each athlete’s training program. We are very careful with players who are still recovering from injuries and the GPS monitoring system is of great help in this respect.
Do you share data with the athletes?
Yes, of course. The reports we deliver to the players show, beyond the above-mentioned data, the maximum speed value each of them reached during the session. We observed that they all are genuinely interested in data assessment, a member of the staff is indeed always ready to help them whenever they need any further explanation.
What are your views about telemetry?
Well, we are not able at the moment to fully grasp its potential but we surely exploit it to estimate the speed reached by every single athlete when completing dry land exercises. It is the solution we tend to adopt every time certain running parameters do not meet the coach’s expectations in terms of strength and conditioning. Nevertheless, we prefer to carry out an in-depth analysis of data collected during the whole training before suggesting specific amendments in the following session.
Thanks a lot, guys for sharing your insights on performance monitoring, they certainly provide plenty of food for thought.