ElPozo Murcia pioneering the use of athlete monitoring technology in futsal

Based in the city of Murcia, ElPozo Murcia F.S. is a five-time champion of Spain’s Primera División de Futsal.

A pioneer of the use of athlete monitoring solutions in futsal, ElPozo is leading the way in the sport while sharing knowledge with other teams and federations.

We recently spoke to Dr. Ruben Herrero, Sports Scientist and S&C Coach at ElPozo, to find out how the club is using GPS technology to improve performance in one of the world’s most competitive futsal leagues.

Using the data as a motivational tool

“ElPozo F.S. is a pioneer in the use of GPS technology in futsal. At the club we use the devices and data not only as a tool for coaching staff, but also to present to the players and involve them in the process.

“At the last training session of each week, we publish a general team report in the changing room and give each player an individual report detailing the data we collect by session and by drill.

“By showing the individual performance in an objective way like this, we create healthy competition among the players and motivate them to achieve better results in the physical parameters we monitor. More importantly, the information gives them an objective perspective on their progress, creating a spirit of self-improvement where they can see their efforts rewarded. This helps motivate them to keep performing better each week.”

Reducing injury risk

“We use PlayerLoad as a tool to quantify external load. We use this parameter to know the total volume of our sessions and each task within training.

“This process helps us to monitor fatigue, since from that starting point we can calculate acute:chronic ratio with the sum of weekly PlayerLoad (fatigue) in comparison with the last four weeks of training (physical condition). We also do an individual comparison with the same day of previous weeks to evaluate the training session itself.

“Combining this information with other parameters such as PlayerLoad per Minute allows us to quantify the demands of the different tasks and better design each week of training, planning particular sessions or drills according to the needs of the players.

“In addition, the use of parameters such as Inertial Movement Analysis (IMA) allows us to evaluate the numbers of efforts players do at various intensities, allowing us to individualise training and even perform compensatory work if necessary.”

Managing load for individual players

“As part of our workflow, we divide training sessions into four tasks and use PlayerLoad to understand what the load will be for each of the players who take part in the session. We pay particularly close attention to Miguel Sayago (Miguelin) who, despite being 34 and injury prone, is considered one of the top players in the league. I rotate him in and out of the intervals on different exercises depending on the volume and intensity in order to maintain his performance levels and reduce injury risk.”

Educating other clubs and federations

“Our use of Catapult technology at ElPozo has aroused plenty of interest in the world of futsal. In fact, we’ve been visited by a number of different federations who want to learn more about the system and consider its implementation in various categories.

“In addition, various clubs from around the world, including Argentina, Costa Rica and Japan, have visited us and been interested in the way we work with GPS in futsal. We show them how we use the devices, explain how it helps to improve the performance of our players, reduce injury risk, and quantify the demands of the sport.”

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