TECH BYTE: High-Tech Vests Improve Athlete Training

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Some new technology is helping soccer players both on and off the field.

More than 1,200 teams from all over the world are using tech they can wear to take their game up a notch.

These Catapult vests aren’t for back pain, but they do support the soccer players with the Chattanooga Red Wolves in a different way.

“So it’s a player monitoring system,” said Assistant Coach Kevin Sawchak, Chattanooga Red Wolves. “We’re able to track the distances and speeds that the players work at. The main purpose is to see the intensities they work at, and also kind of the work load.”

The coaches say these high tech vests help them see which players they need to push more, and which ones can take a break. The goal is to help them play their best.

“I don’t think they like it when I tell them they didn’t run enough, so they have to run more the next day,” Sawchak said.

The players can’t get better without challenging themselves. This tech brings out some friendly competition.

“They also like having the date, seeing themselves,” Sawchak said. “You’ll see competitions all the time. ‘Look, I ran faster than you yesterday,’ or something like that, because they have the date available for them on an app.”

“When we see players hitting their sprint maximum, we know they’re getting close to being able to play 30, 60, or 90 minutes,” said Head Coach Jimmy Obleda. “Also, when players are coming back from injury, we get to see how many distance or meters they are covering, so it allows us to say, ‘OK, he can only go 15 today.'”

It’s already made a big difference in their training. Endurance matters – especially in soccer.

“Almost every weekend we see that we end up with more gas in the tank than other teams,” said player Jason Ramos.

“We’re able to last 90 minutes. We’re able to score goals late in games. I think that’s a big part of it,” Sawchak said. “We’re able to make sure that from the first day of pre-season to now, the players are not only able to run longer, but run faster.”

If you want to learn more about these high tech vests, go to catapultsports.com.

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