Polar Team Pro combines GPS and motion tracking technology with heart rate monitoring to create solutions for player performance tracking at some of the top programs across the country.
AFCAWeekly spoke with the staff at Clemson, LSU, Oregon, Princeton and Villanova, to see what they had to say about using Polar Team Pro.
Clemson University Basketball Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mike Bewley, has been using Polar for five years. He says the real-time data reporting and the variety of tools the reporting provides have been a huge help to the Tigers.
“The Polar Team Pro system will tell you real-time how many hours it takes to recover.” Bewley says. “It allows coaches to understand at 72, 48 and 24 hours after a workout, this is where we want our numbers to be.
“Information is displayed in real time, and guys can see in a descending order, who is at the top, and who is at the bottom. You can really see who is working hard and who isn’t. So we use it as a motivational tool and to develop the culture of our team. We believe there is no such thing as a great-playing team that doesn’t practice hard or work hard.”
Eric Donoval is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at LSU. They are new to the Polar team, and are excited about the possibilities it has opened up for them in just their first year of use.
“Polar just takes the guesswork out of it,” Donoval says. “It allows us to quantify everything the athletes do, and find trends and compare them to see if we are preparing too little or too much, or if they are over trained or we need to push them a little more.
“It helps validate what we are doing. As a strength and conditioning staff, we want to put the best product on the field. We want to be the most powerful, the fastest, the strongest. So it allows us to validate if we are doing the correct stuff to get these guys ready to play football.”
Andrew Murray is the Director of Performance and Sports Science at The University of Oregon. His staff uses Polar Team Pro to capture heart-rate data among athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s soccer.
“Polar has been here for a long time and a market leader in this industry. Heart-rate monitoring is what they do,” Murray says. “When I came here to Oregon, we did try another product against Polar just to see what was there. Polar was a little more expensive, but it was definitely more robust and the quality of its signal was far better.
“Coaches can look at the intensity and the breakdown of individual training sessions and see how long athletes spend in each heart-rate zone. Coaches can understand athletic response over time – measuring same-speed runs or time on a bike – and can understand performance as a mark of progression.”
Jason Gallucci has been working with athletes at Princeton University for over 15 years, and has been the Head Strength Coach and Director of Performance since 2002. He has grown to appreciate the way Polar helps his staff have more informed conversations with their athletes.
“It’s a great educational tool that allows us to talk about rest and recovery.” Gallucci says. “It’s a great way to start really getting into sports nutrition, sleep and sleep hygiene and how that’s going to help them get ready for the next day. At the same time, if they aren’t seeing the results they want to see during a practice or a training session, it brings us back to that same conversation.”
Villanova University Basketball Strength and Conditioning Coach, John Shackleton has used Polar since he started at Villanova eight years ago. In his opinion, there is no substitute for having hard data to make more accurate decisions.
“I can hold guys accountable from a physiological perspective.” Shackleton says. “I can tell if a guy isn’t going hard. You can see it visually but you need to have the data to back it up. If they aren’t going hard and they aren’t getting the conditioning they need to perform at a high level than we have to intervene.
“We put these guys in difficult situations in practice that they will face in games. That’s where Polar shows its value for us. We don’t have to do these things feeling like we have a blindfold on. We can be precise.”
About Polar – www.polar.com/teamsports
Polar is the innovator in heart rate monitoring, activity trackers and training computers. With 40 years of experience and a proud heritage in physiological and sports medical research, we cater to all levels of fitness by offering a comprehensive product range including cycling computers, wearable sports devices and activity trackers, training apps and online services. Our award-winning training computers are the number one choice among consumers worldwide, being sold through over 35,000 retailers globally. Headquartered in Finland, Polar is a privately held company that operates in more than 80 countries including U.S. headquarters in Lake Success, NY. For more information, please visit polar.com.
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