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The STATSports Apex Athlete Provides To The Rising Discipline Of Soccer GPS Trackers


In June, we reported on Playr (£200), a shopper GPS machine worn in a cropped vest that lets footballers observe their motion in a recreation. It was launched by Catapult, which provides monitoring, information and analytics to skilled sports activities crew throughout the globe.

Now sizzling on its heels comes a challenger, Apex Athlete (£250), which gives a really related expertise from STATSports, one among Catapult’s rivals in professional sports activities information. It’s not equivalent, although – one key distinction is that Apex Athlete has in-app choices to trace sports activities apart from “soccer”, because the app calls it. These totally different sports activities are rugby, GAA (gaelic sports activities – STATSports originates in Eire), discipline hockey and working. The Apex may also hyperlink to STATSports’ coronary heart price monitor, the Scosche Rhythm+ (£70), to ship information on the utmost coronary heart price achieved, common coronary heart price and time spent within the crimson zone.

After making an attempt Playr’s smooth package deal – the pod’s buttonless, makes use of an accelerometer to know when to begin monitoring, and comes with a wi-fi charging cradle – STATSport feels a bit clunky, starting with the piercing and indecipherable beeps that greet you while you flip the monitoring pod on and off. Aesthetics apart, when you’ve linked the tracker to the app, you begin a session by turning the pod on, ready till it beeps to point it’s locked on to a GPS sign (it doesn’t take too lengthy; I hadn’t completed my warm-up), then slipping it into the vest and pulling it on.

As I found, it’s value protecting the tracker nicely charged. Whereas the battery can final for 9 hours, there’s no approach to verify the battery’s degree and if the juice runs out mid-game, because it did for me, the knowledge logged to that time isn’t saved.

Upon getting turned off the pod to cease the session and synced it, the app will ask you to orientate an aerial view of the place you performed to suit a pitch-sized rectangle so the app can create warmth maps. Alongside these warmth maps are the chances of time spent within the defensive, midfield and attacking thirds of the pitch, in addition to yellow arrows marking the route of sprints. The excellent news is which you can manually alter what counts as a dash – in my first five-a-side session I clocked up only one dash on the default dash setting of six metres a second. I quickly dialled that down.

There are many different stats accessible in your session, though the acronyms used are a bit mystifying at first with no clarification within the app, so I needed to dig across the company web site to work out what acronyms like HSR, HMLD and DSL stood for. (They stand for high-speed working, excessive metabolic load distance and dynamic stress load.) I’d like to know what they imply and the way they may assist newbie footballers enhance however that information doesn’t appear to be forthcoming, at the very least not in a format I can perceive.

Like Playr, there’s additionally a leaderboard so you possibly can examine your self with different customers of the tracker. Apex Athlete lists the highest accounts for complete distance, HMLD, max velocity and HSR – each weekly (high ten accounts) and month-to-month (the highest 20). Whereas Apex Athlete breaks down the way you examine to the highest rating, it misses the trick (which Playr pulls off) of offering a personalized league desk of individuals round your means. Seeing how far-off you might be from the very best is attention-grabbing, however while you’re not even inside spitting distance it’s not particularly motivating.

That’s to not say Apex Athlete is with out its makes use of, and should you’re a part of a extra severe newbie set-up you, or the folks round you, might have the sports activities science data to show the information into one thing helpful you possibly can act on. For now, although, Apex Athlete falls nicely in need of being accessible to the informal participant.

It additionally falls foul of the identical difficulty Playr did, which is that it’s not presently accepted to be used in video games organised by the FA. It wants an Worldwide Match Customary mark and that it doesn’t presently have. STATSports representatives have instructed Coach the paperwork is in and “affirmation of certification by FIFA” is due by the beginning of October, however it’s one thing to verify earlier than shopping for.

It simply reiterates that it’s early days for shopper GPS soccer trackers, and except you’re determined to pore over your warmth maps out of your five-a-side matches or coaching, it could be value letting the gadgets mature for a few generations.

Purchase from STATSports | £249.99



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