Athlete Tracking System Metrics for Team Sport

Team sport is a category of sports that involves teams of players playing against each other to win the game (see Table 1). Some of the most popular team sports include American football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and volleyball.

Tracking systems collect athlete external load data, which practitioners use to describe, plan and monitor training and competition outcomes, including performance adaptations and responses to training, from a drill to macro-cycle level to reduce injury risk and promote healthy sport participation [11]. Athlete tracking system derived metrics are used as an input to the planning process, with descriptive data being incorporated into theoretical frameworks of the training process to guide training and competition adaptations (Fig. 3).

Derived metrics are typically categorised by speed and occurrence of HSR, accelerations and decelerations, as well as distances covered at various speeds in short and long distances. However, selecting the most appropriate metrics for a specific sport is important to ensure they are relevant and evidence-based.

The selection of metrics for a specific sport should be based on the sport-specific constraints, as this will ensure a more accurate and practical description of the athletes’ physical characteristics during training and matches. These constraints may be in relation to the number of involvements or skill demands within a match or the timing of the sport and can influence how the external load should be planned.

One example of a sport where this may be beneficial is Australian football, where the peak movement demands during skill involvements can be profiled using time series analysis to identify segments of the physical output during matches. This enables the identification of peak intensity at a particular point in time and allows for training drills targeting this metric to be tailored.