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Sports Equipment Technology

Philadelphia Eagles Embrace Connected Technology

July 31, 2013


A variety of companies recently have unveiled sensor solutions to gauge the impact athletes suffer to their heads during play. But sensors are also increasingly being used to track the performance of athletes during practice, training and even during games.

A July Sports Illustrated article talks about how “a small black-and-orange gadget about the size of a hockey puck” was spotted on the back of Connor Barwin’s uniform during a recent practice, and that the 30-gram device “contained a GPS, magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope that had just recorded his every movement on the practice field.”

The article went on to note that the Eagles organization has invested $1 million into technology upgrades during the offseason and has hired on Shaun Huls to occupy the new position of sports science coordinator.

Sports Illustrated in the same piece says, “The array of technology creates a physiological dashboard for each player. Among the equipment: Catapult Sports’ OptimEye sensors, which Barwin was wearing; heart-rate monitors from Polar; an Omegawave system that measures an athlete’s readiness for training and competition; and weight-lifting technology from a company named EliteForm, with 3-D cameras that record not just how much an athlete is lifting but how quickly he is doing it.”

The result is a data-driven approach to training, which is compatible with how Chip Kelly coaches, SI says. “In the up-tempo style he brought from Oregon – the Ducks averaged more than 81 offensive plays per game last season – players are perpetually on the move,” the article adds. “Some sports scientists, like the University of Connecticut’s William Kraemer, say research does not support the perception that an up-tempo pace imposes extreme fitness and recovery demands. But even so, sports-science technology can play an important role in preventing overuse, overtraining and the often accompanying soft-tissue injuries.”

Edited by Alisen Downey