Roadblocks to Athlete Monitoring

Metrifit Ready to Perform

In some of our previous blogs, we have detailed some of the benefits of athlete monitoring and how it can positively influence athlete performance, coach – athlete relationship, training etc. Yet, due to athlete monitoring being a new phenomenon in the world of sport science, there is a school of thought that has reservations about its feasibility. In this blog I will look at 3 main areas which are common road blocks to an effective athlete monitoring system

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(1) Lack of continuity and uniformity

Sport really is a fickle game – This is especially true when we look at elite level managers / coaches who spend a short period of time in a particular job. Sport at the highest level really has become a results driven business. Looking at David Moyes (Manchester United), Andre Villas-Boas (Tottenham Hotspur) and even Paolo di Canio at Sunderland (only 12 games!), we can see that performance and winning have become an expectation at the elite level. Yet, it’s not only the manager who moves on in these cases, their whole backroom staff usually leaves the club too. With these changes, all information often goes with them.  Depending on how information is collated, recordings of player trainings, exercise & test results, exercise prescriptions etc. can all go, along with the opportunity to continue to monitor that particular team of players.

This lack of continuity certainly hinders long term development of any athlete or team. The information that the management team has built up over time then becomes obsolete.  An efficient athlete monitoring system bought into at the top level of a club prevents this happening and has many advantages.


(2) Intellectual Property – Who owns the data?

Intellectual property is another concern for coaches in relation to the roadblocks of athlete monitoring. If a coach has created a plan, a training technique or a system of play based on athlete monitoring that produces results – why should he / she share this knowledge? This information could be vital in swapping second place for first, and therefore they coach may wish to keep it for themselves and not release it to the club. As times have changed, the paradigm of sports have too: to a large extent, sports are becoming an economic activity, or, to be more precise, sports are becoming as much the subject of an economical exploitation as any other subject. Thus, it is not surprising that intellectual property rights now play an important role in developing such activity. Intellectual property has now become quite valuable.

It can be vital to record the amount of time spent participating in certain technical activities and compare these against competition statistics to help ensure that the team/individual is training in the area that will most benefit from same.  Information can be stored at a higher but effective level allowing the coach to maintain ‘exclusive rights’ to how/she decides to implement that training.


(3) The Sports Science ‘gap’

There is also the idea of the “sport science gap”. Coaches and Managers aren’t always experienced or proficient in IT/Analytics and with all that is available technology wise in Sports Science today  – this can lead to a Sports Science gap. Sometimes this is due to the unwillingness of coaches to change their mind-set in relation to certain ideas. For example, if a coach has been successful in the past, they may not wish to bring on board new ideas and techniques – They are happy to stay with the “tried and tested” methods of the past. Due to the ever evolving nature of sport, this could be detrimental to overall performance.

Even one of the most decorated managers in professional football (Sir Alex Ferguson) was open to change as football progressed over the years, “Sports Science, without question, is the biggest and most important change in my lifetime”. Progressive coaches will more than likely succeed in the future as sport develops over time. The idea of monitoring and analysing the complete holistic picture of the athlete is one that should be embraced by aspiring and current coaches. It is a change in mind-set that is required, rather than an attempt to bridge the “sport science gap”. A good athlete monitoring system should aim to provide information at different levels depending on the knowledge available in the organisation and effective visualisation of key data is crucial in order to overcome this.

A good athlete monitoring system that is bought into at the top level of a club / organisation initially can hold onto data that is collected over time while still allowing the coach to maintain the “exclusive rights” to how he / she decides to implement training and his / her own strategies. The athlete monitoring system also provides key data for the club / organisation to work with. What we have talked about in this blog are just some of the perceived roadblocks to athlete monitoring which can provide opposition to this progressive approach to developing a long term athlete passport over all areas. In overcoming these roadblocks, coaches and teams are giving themselves a huge advantage in their attempts to being successful. Athlete monitoring such as that provided by is a key tool in in any coaches skill set in their quest for earning silverware.

About Metrifit

Metrifit is an athlete monitoring system that gathers subjective and objective information from both coaches and athletes in a simple but effective manner with intelligent visualization helping coaches and athletes to act on that data. Why not have a look at our Ready to Perform product and gain insight on the physical and mental state of your athletes through our daily wellbeing questionnaire? To find out more visit our Metrifit Product Overview page or get in touch for a free demo.