GPS Technology in Sports

4 minute read · Issue Number 69 · May 21st, 2021

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Global positioning system — also known as “Gee-pee-ess” — is an accurate worldwide navigation system based on signals from satellites.

A what?!

It’s the technology behind the maps you use while traveling to get to the nearest McDonald’s when you’re hungry.

Today, we’ll learn more about it and its relationship with sports.

Ready? Set. Go!

Global Positioning System (GPS) in Sports

This ‘fairly’ new technology (43 years old) has been increasing in popularity amongst coaches, training staff, and scientists in professional sports for the last ten years.

The main reason?

GPS technology collects TONS of statistics.

These wearables can track almost anything. Distance covered, number of steps, player-load, ball possession, speed, velocity, pace, and so much more.

Today, wearable GPS technology gets ‘layered’ with more technologies like accelerometers, magnetometers, and heart rate monitors to record day-to-day outputs from training and competition.

Most GPS tech in sports is developing field sports like football, cricket, hockey, rugby, and soccer.

The benefits?

  • Clubs can match their outputs to their financial expense on players and protect their investment by improving injury prevention and detection.

  • Coaches can detect fatigue, identify intensity periods, and detect different activity profiles through reliable reports of movement, velocity, and distance traveled.

  • Athletes can more accurately distribute and optimize their training outcomes.

  • Staff members can better organize activity, recovery, training timetables, and log physical activity more efficiently.

The leading companies delivering GPS technology in sports are Catapult, StatSport, Playertek, and GPEXE.

See it in action:

While GPS tech has provided the data to measure, track, and optimize performance, I believe we’re still in the early days of it. Soon, we’ll see tons of new and exciting discoveries in the health and wellness space through layering GPS with other emerging technologies.

Furthermore, the future of GPS analysis will involve even smaller devices, longer battery life, and integration of other sensors to quantify athletes' effort more effectively.

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In our conversation, we talked about athletes and agents, the booking industry, the challenges of coordinating events, and so much more.

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🏈 Patrick Mahomes’ WHOOP Data: Quantifying the Strain of an NFL Season; What impact does an NFL game have on the human body? Is there a cumulative effect as the football season wears on?

⚽️ LaLiga teams up with Microsoft to digitally transform football; An exciting partnership that will build innovative technology solutions for the sports industry to enhance fan engagement.

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Until next week,

Ronen Ainbinder

Twitter: @Ronenain
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