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Hightech Sensors Developed For Football Lead The Way To The "Transparent Player"

posted 15 Nov 2013, 10:25 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 15 Nov 2013, 10:26 ]

German business software firm SAP develops high-tech sensors to test on football players and pitch to gather more detailed information about the condition of players and progress of training sessions.

HOFFENHEIM, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 11, 2013) (REUTERS) - On first glance it looks like any training of the youth team of a football club. But the number of radio masts around the pitch are a bit unusual.

And so the experiment of the U19 youth team of the Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is one to watch: Not only the pitch but the also players are equipped with sensors, be it in football sock, knee guards or in the jerseys itself. The result: A lot of data about every single player, about parts of the team, the team itself. Information that proves to be important for the coach because it permits the coach a detailed analysis of the training, in real time.

The high-tech version was developed by Hoffenheim sponsor SAP. It is based ton their data base Hana (High performance analytic appliance), explains SAP board member Bernd Leukert.

"A sensor is placed anywhere on the body of the player," he told Reuters. "Then there will be a realtime-transmission to a transmitter mast, which is located in the stadium, and this transmitter mast will be amplified into a Hana data base, so that the radiant intensity will be minimal for the player. The transmitter masts undertake the transmission of data into Hana. And from this IT technology, a visualisation on every mobile device throughout the world is possible."

Mobile devices like the Google glasses or the tablet PC of the coach. There sprint velocity, ball contacts and duration of such can be called up, saved and analysed.

The U19 coach of HoffenheimJulian Nagelsmann, said it was not just an extra piece of kit but really helps the training process.

"It's partly an intensification of what I subjectively perceive, partly it is more than that, it's what I can't perceive or I am not able to measure," he said. "For example, if I would like to measure the time from getting the ball to the goal - and this is subjective as a coach - I can say if it was relatively fast or maybe a bit to slow. But if I just take a cross section of the entire data from getting the ball until reaching the the goal and over the entire training session, then I will be able to draw conclusions for the next week of training and work on this training tool."

He says that this software also offers a lot of physiological data and also many team tactical and group tactical elements. Which is very important for the older youth teams.

"When the boys get out of puberty, it becomes more substantial to intervene and to take their data. In younger age groups I think the focus should be just on playing football, also as the boys always feel like playing and always have the energy to play football. And as they grow older, the more detailed the data should be and the more it is important to interfere."

At the moment it is only in a test phase for the youth teams of some Bundesliga clubs. But soon it could find a wider use in top-class sport. SAP already announced that they will offer this kind of performance analysis for further sports.


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