The Euro 2012 National soccer championship may now be history, with Spain putting another significant win under its belt, but that doesn’t mean the sport of soccer doesn’t continue to make some significant advances.
In fact, the U.S. Major League Soccer organization, along with sports manufacturer Adidas, have announced what could prove to be a game-changing breakthrough in how sports organizations around the world use big, real-time data to help optimize player and team performance.
The above screen shot taken from adidas’ Webcast earlier today announcing details of its ‘”miCoach” data tracking and analysis system for soccer demonstrates the type of data coaches using the system will be able to generate in near real-time. This particular graph demonstrates the total distance run by each of the players on a team. This type of information will help inform the coaching staff on everything from player position to conditioning.
Next Wednesday, the Major League Soccer All-Star team will take on the English Premier League’s Chelsea in what will be the world’s first “smart” soccer match.
In that game, Adidas has partnered with the MLS to have its new “miCoach” data tracker embedded in player uniforms, part of an overall integrated wireless system that, using iPads, will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.
This new technology builds on the existing MiCoach Speed Cell, a small device that snaps into the bottom of the Adizero F50 soccer shoe. That device tracks pace and distance, average and maximum speed, distance covered at high intensity and acceleration.
But the miCoach technology will go a step further, so to speak, and provide coaches with a variety of real-time data: player position, power output, speed, distance, intensity of play, acceleration, heart rate…you get the picture.
And so will the coaches of both teams.
Through their ability to monitor player’s movements, heart rate, and the other key data, and be able to relay that to coaches in milliseconds, this new technology will help all involved to develop a better understanding of the physical and physiological impact on both teams and individuals in both games and practice.
Further analysis of the cumulative data will help coaches in preventing overtraining and risk of injury, and hence maintain optimum player performance throughout the season, not to mention to help shape and adjust their coaching strategies.
As both this game, and future trial runs, bear out, one can only imagine the potential of such types of new “datatainment,” enabling fan access to such data via wireless tablet devices, smartphones, interactive TV, and the like.
But with 3.5 billion and counting soccer fans around the globe, Adidas and MLS had better invest in lots of servers.
Adidas and Major League Soccer announced plans today have the MLS integrating the adidas micoach Elite System league-wide in 2013, marking the world’s first “smart league.”
Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the data-tracking technology from adidas, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.
The adidas micoach Elite System has been in development since 2010, and is the product of extensive research, science and cutting-edge technology development by adidas to create the most advanced system for elite teams across the globe.
The micoach Elite System was developed in close consultation and collaboration with many of the leading soccer coaches and clubs including Major League Soccer teams New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC, as well as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich.
In the U.S. you can watch the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea on ESPN2 at 8:30 EST, Wednesday, July 25th.