As training technology has blossomed in the sports world, the soccer field has transformed from a grassy, muddy pitch into a laboratory for exploring the cutting edge of training technology. Wearables, laser sensors, and automated cameras now permeate the playing environment, providing teams and clubs with the ability to measure and track player movement with the calculated precision of an auto factory crash testing its vehicles.
This technology has proven crucial in helping soccer stars level up their game. High tech training equipment is behind the success of Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders forward, who connected on nine goals and six assists in the 2020 season. The lasers and cameras that provide the tiniest differences in training habits were key to Kylian Mbappe’s 18 goals in the 2019 season, and Megan Rapinoe’s two career Olympic medals. True success is in the details, and the tiniest shifts as suggested by top training technology has proved instrumental to the success of the world’s greatest footballers.
This technological explosion was initiated by FIFA’s approval of the integration of Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS) on October 9, 2015. In an official statement, FIFA wrote, “FIFA, together with The International Football Association Board (IFAB), is inviting producers of electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS), including wearable and camera-based technologies, to present their systems to both organisations.” Players had already been using EPTS technology for personal training use, so the move was a logical progression for clubs looking to give their entire rosters a competitive edge.
Two of the most widely used tracking technologies are Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and video systems with multiple semi automatic cameras (VID). VID systems are installed outside of the field of the play and enable teams to monitor a player’s movement around the field as well as the ways in which they interact with other players. This allows for performance analysis of individual players within the context of the team as a whole.
While GPS systems track similar metrics, they often require being attached to the player themself via a wearable device, something some coaches and players were initially uncomfortable with. This discomfort amongst athletes and coaches alike has been mitigated as wearable GPS systems have grown progressively smaller and more integrated into clothing. As teams and coaches have warmed to their new resources, it has become common to use these two systems in tandem for the purposes of comparison and greater detail. This dynamic duo allows teams to accurately monitor a myriad of data points such as the total distance covered, the distance covered by minute, the average speed, and the maximum speed of a player.
As this technology develops further, sports scientists are studying how EPTS tech can be applied to monitoring a player’s mental and emotional workload, in addition to discovering ways to minimize cost of these technologies. Through in-depth comparison between professional EPTS technology and their own deep learning technology, Playform’s flagship app analyzes seven metrics for players to mirror the performance enhancing abilities of this costly tech. By compiling a wide swath of data points from many studies, Playform’s technology has been proven to provide the same quality of instant feedback and analysis previously only capable at the professional level.
Playform integrates this complex technology into a simple phone application to achieve a groundbreaking revolution in the accessibility of this tech to the everyday soccer player. With their phone camera a player can record themselves completing an initial skill assessment that will kickstart their training experience. Computer vision technology and artificial intelligence are applied in combination with Playform’s proven prediction model to provide instant feedback and a customizable set of drills for each player.
Playform’s drills are selected based on the player’s skill level as determined by the basic assessment, as well as an athlete’s player type, a categorization facilitated by the app’s prediction model. This allows Playform to train players according to their role on the field while constantly updating the drills as a player improves and refines their skills.
Playform is the AI-enhanced soccer training app that gives players elite personalized player development technology right on their phone.