Melbourne United

*This story was posted in August 2021 and Nik Popovic has since taken a new role at the University of Southern California.

Melbourne United is a professional basketball team based out of Victoria, Australia. The teams most recent accomplishment is being crowned champion of Australia’s National Basketball League in 2020-2021.

Their decisive three-games-to-none victory over the Perth WildCats made it their second Championship in the last four years and their sixth championship overall.

Click here to download our free eBook: The Fundamentals of Athlete Monitoring


How did they get here?

Recently, the team’s management strategized about building a winning team, which led to a new way of thinking about managing and minimizing injuries. Their first step was partnering with Catapult Sports and embracing innovative wearable technology that offered more accurate and reliable information. 

The team’s performance manager Nik Popovic says, “we’re trying to build resilient, strong, powerful, and explosively conditioned athletes. We want to minimize injury, implement individualized programs for those athletes, and have them go through and continually improve.”


Improved performance

Melbourne United is finding that wearable technology is not only able to help minimize injuries, it is also a major factor in increasing a healthy player’s performance. What’s even more impressive is that the interface for players has become so user-friendly and intuitive, there’s buy-in from players to coaches to trainers to management. 

When metrics are so simply presented, players are able to “own” their preparations and training accordingly and have confidence that certain types of data-driven movement, reaction times and speeds can optimize performance and pay dividends now and in the long run.   

“We get athletes on board with using this technology by showing them the relevance of the data,” Popovic explains, “and how it can help them stay healthy and play at their highest level.”



Technology: Competitive advantage

Professional athletes want to be the best they can be, but athleticism and hard work are the standard these days, not alone what produces champions. Catapult’s newest premier GPS-enabled wearable solution, Vector, is that extra element that can take athletes to that next level and give them a competitive advantage as they push themselves to the limits. 

More content for you:

1. Sport-specific technology: Basketball

Catapult works with Basketball teams at all levels to inform key performance decisions with objective data.

2. Orlando Magic: Coping with a congested return-to-play

Orlando Magic’s Head of Strength & Conditioning, Nathan Spencer discusses how the team best uses limited time exposures in congested pre-seasons to get players ready for the NBA season.

3. Download our free eBook: The Fundamentals of Athlete Monitoring

Focusing on the topics and questions at the heart of sports science, the ebook covers a range of subjects across eight chapters, including:

  • The importance of athlete monitoring
  • Building effective training programmes
  • Measuring athlete work
  • Evaluating the quality of performance data


4. Duke Basketball: Using technology during return from injury

One of the most decorated college basketball programs in the United States, Duke Basketball uses Catapult technology to monitor the workload of its athletes and support detailed injury rehabilitation processes.

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