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Posts Tagged ‘conditioning

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SPI IQ – The most efficient GPS data processing & reporting system on the market.



Average time to process the data and create a report for 20 players – 10 minutes


Spend minimal time processing data and quickly implement change.

Within minutes of downloading data from the devices, reports are available and ready to share with coaching, conditioning and medical staff.  The components of the reports are fully customizable and the analysis achieves what would take hours to achieve manually.

Ultimately SPI IQ ensures teams can realize the value from their investment in a GPS monitoring system by being able to efficiently discover and implement the findings.


Are you ready to dominate your league or sport?  To find out more about how GPSports SPI HPU unit and SPI IQ software can benefit your team CLICK HERE to have one of our Human Performance Specialists talk to you about your team and  how GPSports can meet your specific needs.

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Translated from the FC Petrolul Ploiesti website:

FC PetrolulOil has invested over 150,000 euros last year in the latest equipment, purchasing anGPSports system used to accurately assess the physical parameters of the players. The system is implemented in training and games and the big European clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax and FC Porto.

During competitive, especially in the training sessions, such as those in Antalya, technical staff of Oil by knowing how to present each player in physically. And this thanks GPSports device showing the exact mileage running, speed and heart rate during training players or matches. Worth over 70,000 euros, the system is innovative, but very few teams in League One and allow it to acţionize due to high prices. To be monitored, players wear a special vest and back, the size and shape of a mobile phone are secure GPSports device.

The dealing with the interpretation and centralizing all the data is Nacho Martinez, one’s physical preparatory Oil . 

“This revolutionary system helps us to see exactly how to prepare footballers. We know how to run one or the other in training or matches, that speed was and that was the heartbeat. Normally, our players go through training sessions, on average, 6-7 km, and at similar distance ranges between 9 and 12 km, depending on how each plays ” explained Nacho. 

The top teams in sports worldwide rely on GPSports technology because they know data is a game changer. What does your team use?


Are you ready to dominate your league or sport?  To find out more about how GPSports SPI HPU unit and SPI IQ software can benefit your team CLICK HERE to have one of our Human Performance Specialists talk to you about your team and  how GPSports can meet your specific needs.


GPSports will be at the NFL Combine as well as in Los Angeles this February.  CLICK HERE to schedule a visit and trial.


Original piece at FC Petrolul’s website

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By Mick Blythe


When sporting pursuits are undertaken at high competitive levels it becomes necessary to ‘push’ the body to achieve greater performance. A point is often reached when the stresses and strains exerted exceed that which it is capable of withstanding (Mottran, 2010). Any injury results in reduced levels of performance capability and may require the abstention from sport for a period of recuperation (Mottram, 2010). As well as the pain and discomfort associated with injury, the individual’s performance is likely to deteriorate during this period of inactivity and an extended training period may be required to regain peak fitness (Mottram, 2010). 

In a sport where a career may be of limited duration and the difference between winning and losing marginal, if the body refuses to perform, even a minor injury can be devastating and career plans can be ruined overnight (Waddington & Smith, 2009; Mottram, 2010). This means athlete’s run the daily risk of failure on account of injuries, illness or psychological burnout (Bette, 2004). Resultantly, athletes are compelled to compete when injured – something even demanded by many spectators (Moller, 2010; Miah, 2010). 

In ‘contact’ sports some of the occurring injuries are commensurate only to those of high speed vehicular crashes (Brookes cited in Stott, 2010) with particular concern given to those who suffer repeated head trauma. For the European Rugby League ‘super league’ season ending October 2009, brain injuries, broken noses / jaws, and fractured skulls, eye sockets and cheek bones all occurred (Stott, 2010). A study of professional Rugby League players over three seasons also found that 13-17% of them sustained concussion each season (Hinton-Bayre, Geffen, Friis, 2004).  

This is concerning as long term consequences of head trauma include cognitive, behavioural, and biological deficits (Ives, Alderman, Stred, 2007) and the onset of hypopituitarism which can lead to a failure of physical growth, a stagnation of physical skills, lower energy levels, and orthostatic changes (Ives, Alderman, Stred, 2007).  Repeated head and neck trauma could also lead to the development or aggravation of cervical stenosis (Pollard, Hansen, Hoskins, 2005).  Despite being rare (Gibbs, 1993), serious head and neck injuries have also caused cervical spinal cord injuries, quadriplegia and paraplegia (Armour, Clatworthy, Bean et al, 1997; Rotern, Lawson, Wilson, 1998).

According to Svatkovsky (2000) there is no suggestion that athletes are not aware of these risks and amongst most there are no regrets at having paid for success with their health; this is not to say though that they are not concerned about their health (Miah, 2010).  Coaches, commentators and medical professionals alike have also expressed concern about the apparent growing incidence and severity of injuries in sport and have suggested (often controversial) ways of reducing the risks. Some even claim these imperative if we are to protect the welfare of players (Williams, 2011). Evidence even exists that such feelings within the athletic fraternity have led to the development of a ‘drug tolerance’ culture (Moller, 2010; Waddington & Smith, 2009) but in the words of elite sportsmen themselves:


“not to improve performance, but merely to take away the pain” (Olympic gold medallist / tour de France rider)


‘simply to survive” (World Cup winning footballer)


………..and as: “medicine” (Great Britain Rugby League international)


Although the mere suggestion of ‘loosening’ prohibited drug laws will provoke fierce criticism, a pertinent question is why should athletes not be allowed to run the health risks associated with prohibited drug use, when we do allow them to run what are probably greater health risks associated with injury? Less provocative suggestions include the improvement of protective equipment, better coaching, increased medical provision, greater performance profiling, reduced ‘game time’ and rule changes. Inception of these though is often offset against purchase prices, time expenditure and reduced income meaning an athlete’s health may be put at risk as part of club ‘cost cutting’. It is hard to envisage this been allowed in other professions. 

Yes, top sportspeople are rewarded handsomely for a job most can only dream of. Yes, as such we expect them to welcome the stresses and pressures of elite competition. However, we shouldn’t forget that as a society we have a moral obligation to protect the welfare of others.  This means, regardless of trade, all people should (if and when needed) be given the resources needed to protect themselves from harm and the time needed to heal from injury / illness without social stigmatism. 


Mick Blythe HeadshotMick Blythe   MSc, Cert-Ed.

Rotherham, United Kingdom.

  • Owner /  lead staff:  MB Health and Fitness
  • Academy manager: Sheffield Steeldogs Ice Hockey academy
  • Tutor / Assessor: Envisage Training
  • S&C coach: Dearne Valley Bulldogs ARLFC 



Are you ready to dominate your league or sport?  To find out more about how GPSports SPI HPU unit and SPI IQ software can benefit your team CLICK HERE to have one of our Human Performance Specialists talk to you about your team and  how GPSports can meet your specific needs.


GPSports will be at the NFL Combine as well as in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia this February.  CLICK HERE to schedule a visit and trial.



Armour, K.S., Clatworthy, B.J., Bean, A.R., Wells, J.E., Clarke, A.M. (1997). Spinal injuries in New Zealand rugby and rugby league—–a twenty year survey. New Zealand Medical Journal. 110(1057):462—5.


Bette, K.H. (2004). Biographical risks and doping, in J. Hoberman and V. Moller (eds) Doping and Public Policy. Odense.  Odense University of Southern Denmark


Gibbs, N. (1993). Injuries in professional rugby league: a three year prospective study of the South Sydney Professional Rugby League Football Club. American Journal of Sports Medicine.  21(5): 696-700.


Hinton-Bayre, A.D., Geffen, G., Friis, P. (2004). Presentation and mechanisms of concussion in professional rugby league football. Journal of Science Medicine and Sport. 7(3):400-4.


Ives, J.C., Alderman, M., Stred, S.E. (2007). Hypopituitarism after Multiple Concussions: A Retrospective Case Study in an Adolescent Male. Journal of Athletic Training. 42(3):431–439.


Miah, A. (2010). Fight club: Should doping be allowed in sport? The Times Eureka. 14.


Moller, V. (2010). The ethics of doping and anti-doping: Redeeming the soul of sport? Routledge. London.


Mottram, D. (2010). Drugs in Sport (5TH ed). London. Routledge.


Pollard, H., Hansen, L., Hoskins, W. (2005). Cervical stenosis in a professional rugby league football player: a case history. Chiropractic Osteopath. 13:15.


Rotem, T.R., Lawson, J.S., Wilson, S.F., et al (1998). Severe cervical spinal cord injuries related to rugby union and league football in New South Wales, 1984—1996. Medical Journal of Australia. 168(8):379—81.


Stott, J. (2010). BRUTAL. News of the World. 24/01/10, 84-85.


Waddington, I., & Smith, A. (2009). An introduction to drugs in sport: Addicted to winning? London. Routledge


Williams, T. (2011). Player burnout could be resolved. Accessed from www.loverugbyleague.com  12/01/2011

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By Mick Blythe

Rugby League (RL) is a game played by amateurs (Gabbett, 2000), semi-professionals (Gabbett, 2002, Coutts et al., 2007) and professionals (Gissane, et al., 1993; Brewer, Davis, 1995). It involves 13 a-side (+ 4 substitutes) games played over two 40-minute halves separated by a 10-minute rest interval.

RL is physiologically complex involving frequent bouts of high-intensity activity (e.g. running, passing, sprinting) separated by short bouts of low-intensity activity (e.g. walking, jogging) (Meir, Arthur, Forrest, 1993; Gabbett, 2004). During games players are exposed to many physical collisions and tackles (Brewer, Davis, 1995; Gissane et al., 2001).

In order to compete players are required to have appropriately developed maximal aerobic power, speed, muscular strength, power and agility (Meir et al., 1993; Brewer, Davis, 1995; Coutts et al., 2007; Gabbett, Jenkins, 2008). Those without are at an increased risk of poor performance and injury (Gabbett & Domrow, 2005). As a result, appropriate periodized game-specific physical conditioning programmes should be provided to players at all competitive levels.

The development and implementation though of programmes within amateur RL is challenging. The initial challenge refers to the training prescription as a difficult balance exists between applying the appropriate training stimulus required to elicit improvements without causing injury (Gabbett, 2004).

Although the incidence of training injuries is low they do occur (Hodgson et al., 1998; Gabbett, 2002, Gabbett, 2003; Gabbett, 2005); usually in correlation with inaccurate prescriptions of increased intensity, duration and load (Gabbett, 2004). Injury occurrence has also been reported to be higher in the later stages of training (Gabbett, 2003, Gabbett, 2004, Gabbett, 2005). Something possibly related to fatigue (Gabbett, 2004, Gabbett, 2005), thus suggesting the need for differentiated intra-session training loads.

Tom Kingston makes a breakProgrammes must also consider the games many physiological demands. High levels of muscular strength are required in order to effectively tackle, lift, push and pull opponents and to provide fast ‘play-the ball’ speed and facilitate effective leg drive in tackles (Gabbet, Jenkins, 2008). To mimic game conditions the exercises used to promote musculoskeletal strength / stability increases should include those performed in standing postures and involving weight-bearing closed chain movements (Gamble, 2010), in all three planes of motion (Leetun et al, 2004) and under both static and dynamic conditions (Gamble, 2010).

Programmes should also assist in enhancing specific changes of direction speed and perceptual and decision making (Young et al, 2002), while considering sprint specifics (standing or dynamic start?) (Murphy et al., 2003) and relevant sprint distances (<40m or >40m?) (Meir et al., 1993).

Invalidated amateur mean blood lactate concentrations of 5.2mmol demonstrates considerable physiological stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic glycolytic energy systems. Therefore training needs to ‘mimic’ competitive work to rest ratios (1: 4) (King, Jenkins, Gabbett, 2009) thus enabling players to  better cope with the demands placed upon them during matches (King, Gabbett, Jenkins, 2009).

Performing skill specific drills whilst fatigued may also encourage players to make appropriate decisions and apply learned skills during the pressure of competitive matches (Gabbett, 2002).  Further complication is heralded to the importance of each group preparing differently to meet the specific positional demands of match-play. King et al (2009) suggests that within training session’s positional differentiation is key with each position having its own specialised training criteria. Thus meaning everything mentioned above would need modifying according to positional specifics.

The final challenge facing amateur strength and conditioning coaches lays in that usually they aren’t afforded the same coaching, medical, analytical, nutritional and psychological support as their professional contemporaries.  These constraints, added with likely additional (player and coach) employment and an increased need for amateur players to refine technical skills means amateur conditioners need a unique set of time-management, organisation and empathetic skills alongside their technical knowhow. As with any interpersonal profession, an overriding commitment to better those around you whilst maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment is also key.


To find out more about how GPSports SPI HPU unit and SPI IQ software can benefit your team CLICK HERE to have one of our Human Performance Specialists talk to your about your team and  how GPSports can meet your specific needs.


Mick Blythe HeadshotMick Blythe   MSc, Cert-Ed.

Rotherham, United Kingdom.

Owner /  lead staff:  MB Health and Fitness
Academy manager: Sheffield Steeldogs Ice Hockey academy
Tutor / Assessor: Envisage Training
S&C coach: Dearne Valley Bulldogs ARLFC



Brewer, J., Davis, J. (1995). Applied physiology of rugby league. Sports Medicine. 20 (3): 129-35.

Coutts, A., Reaburn, P., Abt, G. (2007). Heart rate, blood lactate concentration and estimated energy expenditure in a semi-professional rugby league team during a match: a case study. Journal of Sports Science. (2) 97-103.


Gabbett, T.J. (2000). Incidence, site, and nature of injuries in amateur rugby league over three consecutive seasons. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 34: 98-103.


Gabbett, T.J. (2002). Training injuries in rugby league: an evaluation of skill-based conditioning games. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 16 (2): 236-41.


Gabbett, T.J. (2003). Incidence of injury in semi-professional rugby league players. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 37 (1): 36-44.


Gabbett, T.J. (2004). Incidence of injury in junior and senior rugby league players. Sports Medicine. 34 (12): 849-59.


Gabbett, T.J. (2005). Influence of playing position on the site, nature and cause of rugby league injuries. Journal of Strength and Conditioning research. 19 (4): 749-55.


Gabbett ,T.J., Domrow, N. (2005). Risk factors for injury in sub elite rugby league players. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 33 (3): 428-34.


Gabbett, T.J., Jenkins, D. (2008). Applied physiology of rugby league. Sports Medicine. 38 (2): 119-38.


Gamble, P. (2010). Strength and conditioning for team sports: Sport specific physical preparations for high performance. Routledge. London.


Gissane, C., Jennings, D.C., Standing, P. (1993). Incidence of injury in rugby league football. Physiotherapy. 79: 305-10.


Hodgson Phillips, L., Standen, P.J., Blatt, M.E. (1998). Effects of seasonal change in rugby league on the incidence of injury. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 32 (2): 144-8.


King, D.A., Jenkins, D., Gabbett, T.J. (2009). A time–motion analysis of professional rugby league match-play. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(3): 213–219.


Leetun, D.T., Ireland, M.L., Wilson, J.D., Ballantyne, B.T., Davis, I.M. (2004). ‘Core stability measures as risk factors for lower extremity injury in athletes’. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 36(6): 926-934.


Meir R. (1993). Evaluating player’s fitness in professional rugby league. Strength Conditioning Coach. 1:11-7.


Murphy, A. J., Lockie, R. G., & Coutts, A. J. (2003). Kinematic determinants of early acceleration in field sport athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 2, 144-150


Young, W.B., James, R., Montgomery, I. (2002). Is muscle power related to running speed with changes of direction? Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.  42:282-288.

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