Controlled by GPS, the Pumas take advantage of technology

WARE, England .- Anyone who buys the jersey of any of the top teams in the rugby world will find that in the upper dorsal has an unknown gadget, a kind of square pocket that adds to these true creations of textile design and technology. The implement is nothing more than the synthesis of modern rugby: all the tradition that prints the colors of the insignia crossed by the sweeping pace of computing: there is placed the GPS with which the physical performance of each of the players.

In their race to interfere with the powers, the Pumas , who yesterday settled in this town 35 kilometers north of London, try to take full advantage of the benefits offered by technology and recently incorporated a series of advances that allow to optimize performance Of the players at the time of going out to play: the GPS (Global Positioning System), on the one hand, and the meticulous analysis of video, on the other.

The revolution that led Daniel Hourcade in the game of the Pumas, who next Sunday will debut in the World against the All Blacks , was accompanied by a new mode of training. The idea is to replicate in the weekly essays the intensity of what happens in a match. In this way you can train the physical and technical-tactical parts at the same time, maximizing times and demands. This is on the one hand impracticable, since in the training does not reproduce the dynamics or the timing of the parties. On the other hand, a training involves an exercise of constant trial and error, which does not occur in parties.

To save the first distance, the Pumas use a GPS system that allows physical trainers to accurately monitor the intensity of workouts minute by minute. For the second, each practice is filmed in full so that adjustments are made after the same, watching the video to avoid interruptions.

The GPS measures each player, among other things, distance traveled, speed, intensity (meters per minute), accelerations and decelerations, maximum speed. It began to be used in the Rugby Championship 2013 and since this year’s Pacific Challenge was extended to all players, says Gonzalo Santos, one of the Pumas’ physical trainers. The information provided allows you to know if the pre-set loads of the day (low, medium or high intensity) were met and based on that adjustments are made for the training the following day.

During matches, players also have GPS, but their value is relative, since the matches are very variable in intensity. “They serve more than anything to compare with what we do in training,” explains Santos, who in practices can be seen next to Hourcade indicating when it is necessary to take breaks and how long, replicating when a party stops By a fixed formation or a kick.

Daniel Perez is the video analyst for the Pumas. Its function is not new, but many of its tasks did not exist in previous cycles. That of filming the practices (with two cameras for when dividing forwards and backs) and correcting watching the video is a novelty.

Your task does not end there. The UAR has three highly complex software services to analyze the parties and he is in charge of operating them. The SportsCode allows you to perform the analysis instantly. As the match progresses, Perez codifies each action so that coaches can instantly see, for example, how many penalties the team committed and in what game situation. And so with multiple variables more.

In addition, through the Opta program the coaching staff receives the 24 hours of each international match (from a Test Match to a game of the English League, French or Super Rugby) the video of the match with all the game situations already codified . In this way you can easily access all the line-outs, all the scrums or all the breaks that made a team, either the own or the rival. The Exchange program, on the other hand, does not encode the actions, but it shows the match simultaneously from four different takes and can be synchronized with the previous one.

Finally, these systems allow to analyze player by player each action of game in which it was involved. With that information, and depending on the position of each, individual video sessions are held at least once a week. When technology is at the service of entertainment, traditions are grateful.

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