Technology Additions - Spring 2023

training concepts training updates Mar 13, 2023

Tech Updates to the Madison Academy Weight Room

This quarter was huge for us as we added 3 major pieces of technology into our performance program. One piece we purchased, and the other two we are trialing to establish the value in our setting.

1️⃣ Purchased: 10 Catapult One GPS Units

The football booster club gave us the green light to purchase 10 GPS units from Catapult. I have been in our head coach's ear about the value of GPS for about a year now, and we decided to finally pull the trigger.

GPS technology is becoming a real arms-race of technology and resources. I am not sure how many programs who have them, especially at the HS level, even have a clue how to properly utilize the data. We decided that we will not be the team to just take pictures with the Catapult logo on our chest. 

So far, we knew that all we would do is collect and observe. All we are doing right now is Speed and Agility Development 2x per week. Yes, we wanted to see the top speed capabilities of our athletes. This helps us understand outputs and how to prescribe resisted training at a higher level. As far as distances, player loads, and other cool metrics go, we have no idea, so we are going to just collect and observe. We are going to take this approach all the way through summer and into the 2023 season so we can have a decent idea of what sessions look like before we can ever make any decisions.

Currently our plan is to keep an eye on acute to chronic ratios to keep major spikes from happening in practice while also making sure our skill players get a maximum velocity exposure once every 4-7 days.

One cool item we have seen is our starting running back making steady progress in his max velocity alongside his short acceleration ability that we measure frequently in the weight room.

Short Acceleration Progress

Max Velocity Progress

This information just continues to let us know that what we are doing is working. Why? Lots of reasons behind that. Too many variables to count. But regardless, this is a good sign.

We even had a few college coaches reach out from our social media posts on his max velocity and helped gain some traction on his recruiting. That is a big deal.

We will continue to monitor throughout the semester and the year and hopefully we will come upon some good insights on how to maximize performance and minimize time loss from injury.

2️⃣ Trial: Vald Performance ForceDecks

I have always wanted to get my hands on Force Plates, even if it was just for the experience of understanding how they work and what value they bring, especially in the level I work in--the HS level.

I am going to give you what we are using it for, what we see, and what we plan on doing with it.

Main Metric: Isometric Mid Thigh Pull

I've been searching for a solution on how to test force output without the nuance or risk of many maximal barbell lifts. I've used a crane scale, a gStrength, and now a force plate. This is straightforward way to determine whether or not someone has force capabilities. Here is the leaderboard currently. I hid the names for privacy sake:

This gives us a clearer view on if someone is truly force deficient, need more power output strategies, more skill expression strategies, etc. Now... we currently don't have the best plan on how to differentiate training inside of our sessions to truly put this into motion, but our wheels are spinning to find a way to do so without taking away from the team training feel.

Other Metrics: Impulse-Momentum, eRFD

Impulse-Momentum tells us truly how high someone is jumping based on physics, not an algorithm. This involves the amount of impulse force off the plates, body mass, and gravity. This gives us a jump measurement that cannot be finessed. Good for data collection 😎

eRFD (Eccentric Rate of Force Development) is a new one we are exploring. We know the de-acceleration is a major key for performance and health, and eRFD may be a major player in that. Shoutout to Coach Joey Guarascio at FAU for showing us the light and Damian Harper, PhD research efforts.

3️⃣ Trial: Camera-Based Velocity Based Training: Perch and EliteForm

Velocity-Based Training is something I have been dabbling in for 2 years now. I have trialed almost every brand in the book for this. After understanding the power of a camera technology, I decided to reach out and get a demo of both. Both said yes 😎

Currently we are training both systems concurrently on two racks. I am looking at 3 main factors while demoing:

1. What problems can I deal with? Because as you dive into technology, all of them have their flaws. It is just a matter of which ones you are willing to deal with.

2. Which has the best workflow for my situation? Does it give the information and feedback I need without slowing down the session? Can I make it as dummy-proof as possible?

Thus far, just the feedback itself on understanding intent is remarkable. Putting a constrain on the day, plus a live leaderboard? Sheeeeeesh the bars start FLYINNNNN. That is worth the investment in and of itself.

As far as the differences between Perch and EliteForm? It is too early to tell. I will check back with a later post on my thoughts and experience with both. In the meantime, here is a cool look at a live leaderboard of the Top Peak Power scores for Back Squat with Perch.

All of these items that we have added to our weight room has just built extra layers into our evaluation and monitoring processes. As expected, you can get slightly overwhelmed with all of the noise from these pieces... but if you never get through the noise, you will never find the signal that just might help guide the training process a little better than it was yesterday.

"Tech is coming whether we like it or not, and if you are a coach that refuses to adapt, you are going to get left behind. I believe in the next 5-10 years, that not being acquainted with tech will be a major red flag as a performance coach."  👉🏻 Click to Tweet

Does technology replace the sharp and experienced eye of a coach? Absolutely not. Can it improve that coach's eye? You better believe it.

Tech is meant to help us understand what is happening, then help us make decisions faster, not tell us what to do or do the work for us.

Get on board.

Or get left behind.

Tweet This

Enjoy this post? Share it to your social media and tag me in it!

Check out our products by clicking here 👇🏻

CLH Strength Store

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.