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Tuesday April 24, 2018

NY Giants Use Technology to Track Players’ Performances on the Field

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 08:  The reflecti...

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The New York Giants are going forward with the idea of including technology in their workouts and practices. According to The New York Times, Giants General Manager Jerry Reese first learned about using GP. devices to maximize players’ abilities when he saw Manchester United soccer team practicing with the technology. In recent workouts, the Giants used heart-rate monitors, GPS. devices and hydration/nutrition monitoring to better understand how players can reach their optimized level of performance. Though this type of technology is widely used by  international sports teams, very few US-based teams have shown an interest.

Ronnie Barnes, the Giants’ vice president for medical services, strongly supports the use of the technology and told the Times that, “I’m looking into the future. We’ve known we need to do this, and I feel like we’ve begun to pioneer a little bit with our players and within the league.” 35 of the Giants players volunteered to be a part of the study by wearing the devices during workouts and answering questions about their habits to give context to the resulting data.

The technology used is multifaceted. Heart rates must be tracked for signs of maximum exertion, hydration levels are also under surveillance and demonstrate whether or not a player is showing up with full energy. The G.P.S. technology is specifically used to show total distance run by players at practices. All of these precautions are supposed to help reduce the chance of injury for players. To conduct the study, the players worked with the Korey Stringer Institute and Timex, maker of the devices. Before each practice the players strapped on their equipment and answered basic questions about how they were feeling before practice. Throughout the work out, laptops tracked the data in real-time.

Though the players were not initially keen on using the technology during practices, some warmed up to the idea. Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the team, noted that there had been positives to using the technology. He told the Times that, “Seeing at what points my heart rate peaks and things like that will make it easier for me to tailor my own workouts when I’m not with the team.” The biggest difficulty with the tests has been finding out how to make sure the players do not feel uncomfortable with the bulky devices in their outfits.

The New York Times