Touch Football has over 680,000 participants yearly and is one of Australia’s most consistent growth sports. Originally developed as a training activity for various football codes and to keep athletes’ fitness in the off season, the sport is now officially recognised and is played in over 50 countries around the globe.
Brisbane City Cobras are one of Australia’s most successful Touch Football club’s and in the last 12 months, have seen success at the 2019 National Touch League Championships in Coffs Harbour and further success at the recently completed Queensland State Cup held on the Gold Coast with over 100 teams participating and 22 teams from the Cobras banner.
Touch Football is a fast, skilful and exhilarating sport with minimal stoppages, so athletes need to consistently keep up a high intensity level and show great bursts of speed. As such, the athletes’ fitness and conditioning needs to be appropriately prepared to handle the demands of a game.
“I have been using GPS data for many years as an active runner, triathlete and Personal Trainer, with SPT I saw a fantastic opportunity to utilise GPS technology to monitor Touch football player performance,” says Adam Page, Coach with the Brisbane Cobras.
After demonstrating to the Cobra’s Management the benefits of being able to see speed, endurance and most importantly where players were running on the field, which assist in developing attacking and defensive formats to stop and score tries, it was a clear decision to adopt SPT’s GPS technology at the Cobra’s.
“Seeing statistics and showing players actually encourages them to try harder as elite players are competitive and who is the fastest or who runs further always creates interest within a team,” says Page.
With major Touch football tournaments running over 3-4 days it was really important for the Cobras to understand the physical demands put on their players.
“On average a player runs 34-40km over the course of the tournament. Coaches and players didn’t understand the load that was being placed on athletes and training has now changed to better align the requirements of tournaments with what is being done at training, this has reduced injury and also increased performance,” explains Page.
In terms of performance metrics, the Cobras focus using their data to create processes that are designed to improve player performance and develop team efficiency.
“We look at distance travelled during a game to monitor player load, we also like the intensity reading to see what effort players are putting in. We also analyse work rate to see if a player is wasting energy by running the correct lines etc,” says Page.
With the new capabilities of Heart Rate Data through SPT’s Integrated Heart Rate Vest, players at the Cobras can now also monitor their efficiency levels and time in red zone without the need of wearing a watch which can often be deemed dangerous in a competitive environment.
SPT’s tracking technology is giving the Brisbane Cobras the edge over their competition and bringing the best out of their athletes. “To be the best, you have to prepare to be the best and by having all the data at your fingertips by using SPT devices we gain that extra 10% that is required to win those close games” explains Page.
“If you’re not wearing an SPT whilst training or playing then you are missing out on being the best player you can be, be it elite, amateur or beginner!”
To learn more about how SPT can improve player performance, click here.