Doctor of the U-21 Italian National Team, and part of the Udinese Calcio medical staff, Luca Gatteschi describes his approach to injury recovery and explains how gpexe system improves his daily work, in particular, the live option and the possibility to constantly check the data collected, even remotely.
1) How often do you utilise gpexe?
I use the device during all training sessions for the rehabilitation phase and during the initial training sessions carried out with the team.
If the team does not habitually use the gpexe devices (I also work with non-professionals), we try to monitor at least the whole first week of sessions with the team, better the first two.
2) Which parameters supplied by gpexe are you particularly interested in and why?
The rehabilitation path begins on the therapy table (which we try to limit to a minimum period) and ends up in the field, and it is crucial that those two phases, which are not successive but overlapping, are well-coordinated and coherent.
This concept is valid at all levels, not only for professionals. Still, speaking about professionals, not all clubs have facilities suitable for looking after the injured players’ full recovery process.
3) What type of feedback do you gain from the parameters of interest?
The optimal reference would be, the pre-injury condition, if available, but the reference performance model is also important, which obviously takes the level of commitment into account.
The optimal theoretical objective of a good rehabilitation is not to bring the player (or rather the athlete in general) back to the pre-injury level but a small step before that, working on the highlighted gaps.
“if the system does not provide the answers I’m looking for,
I have to ask myself if it’s me who can not read it”
Italy U21 National Team Doctor
4) In what way does the monitoring of the data impact on the planning of your work?
The parameters evaluated and the level to be reached depending on both the role and the type of injury, and also on the player concerned (in case of a muscle injury). In general, while for the volume parameters we can settle for reaching a certain percentage of the load that will be reached during the team sessions, for the more “qualitative” ones (such as acceleration and deceleration, meters at high speeds, biomechanical commitment…) I prefer to reach the specific values for the athlete and / or for the specific role.
We have also to consider that a movement carried out even at very high intensity during the rehabilitation phase will always be lower, as global commitment and “risk”, than the same gesture performed in normal training or match, because of the relevance of some factors added: the presence of teammates and opponents, mental commitment and motivations. For this reason, I believe that the quality of the commitment in the rehabilitation phase should be brought to levels even higher than those the player will face in the first group sessions.
5) Do you use the live and for which purpose?
I consider the live a fundamental aspect of the gpexe use because it allows me to control in real-time both the fact that objectives are achieved and that set limits are not exceeded.
Additionally, we can intervene by correcting the exercise directly on the pitch if necessary.
6) Is there any significant data collected, as an example of analysis, which you can share with us?
Contrary to what you may think, in my opinion, the most significant fact is that reading the data is not an exact science, but rather an art that must be applied with different keys on individual cases.
7) What type of interaction do you have with the coach relative to the data collected?
Interaction with the technical staff is crucial in the rehabilitation work within a team, but it’s the same for me beyond the club when I follow a player in the rehabilitation centre that I manage. The first drills on the field that my staff and I propose to the player have to take the characteristics of the training he will carry out later, into account; just like the staff who will manage the player once back in the group session will receive all the information from me, and also continue to take into account the progression of the scheduled work.
We know from the literature that both a sharp increase and a reduction of the load represent an increase of the risk of injury. For this reason, in the first weeks, the data monitoring, even remotely, and a constant dialogue with the technical staff, are important.
8) What type of interaction do you have with the player relative to the data collected?
The player has to figure out what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, be aware of the progress and improvements that are achieved or not. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to understand and to then jointly commit to the rehabilitation project. The objective of the single rehabilitation session becomes an incentive. It can not be the only one because rehabilitation is not just about measurable goals, but this is still an extra stimulus and an extra piece of information to understand how the body moves.
Not everyone is interested and receptive in the same way, but this cannot exempt one from trying to interact, even by using different languages. I consider the information I give to athletes as fundamental even in the other component of my work, namely targeted supplementation.
9) How much time do you utilise on average for the operative phase of the system and on the data analysis?
It is difficult to estimate an average value, especially for the data analysis. It also depends on the type of training, on the rehabilitation phase…
10) What pushed you to choose gpexe and have you had any experience with other GPS systems, and if so, what differences did you find?
I had the opportunity to learn about the system and exploit its data, in particular for the evaluation of loads for the purpose of specific integration schemes, even before using the devices directly.
I believe that the system responds optimally to all my needs, and for this reason, I have chosen to expand its use and understanding.