First-team physical trainer Dani Pastor has revealed how his coaching staff are tracking players’ workouts from home.
Regulations put in place to combat the Covid-19 crisis has meant training and fixtures are suspended for the foreseeable future, but the Spanish coach says modern technology has helped maintain a necessary analysis of the senior side's condition.
“Seeing that this quarantine situation was going to continue for a long time, we decided to use the bands the players put on their chest to measure the variability of heart rate, which is an indicator of the rest and stress load a player has,” said Pastor. “The data is then sent to a computer programme we have. I got in touch with the company that has the software and we saw that it was possible for each player to have this band at home and record in an app all the work they were doing.”
“Every time a player carries out the physical activity that we have outlined, he opens an application on his mobile, puts the band on his chest and activates the heart rate monitor. Once training ends, the player and I instantly receive a detailed report with all the particulars of that physical activity.
“It’s not a question of knowing if the player has done the exercise or not,” he added. “Fortunately, we have footballers who are committed 100 per cent. What this is a about is detecting possible shortcomings and the specific orientation of their daily work. It not only helps them; it also helps us. We may be planning the work poorly and with that application we can make corrections.”
Although technology used can also track metres travelled, speed, intensity, muscular imbalances in the legs in addition to the aforementioned heart rate, Pastor says players will need to slowly build up to match fitness once normality resumes.
“I’ve seen the protocol which La Liga plans to establish for the return to training and there are enormous demands on the media and infrastructure. I don’t know if everything is going to be able to be carried out and what it will cost. It's fine as a starting point.
“We had already planned for the players to come to training individually and to train in small groups of two players per field, for example. Right now, that’s far away so we’re going to start working with groups of five players per video call to see how they get on. "