Xavier Women’s Soccer Head Coach, Nate Lie decided in 2019 to adopt SPT’s GPS tracking system. In his first year using SPT, the Musketeers won the Big East Regular Season Championship and the Big East Tournament leading them to the NCAA Playoffs. A few years later and Xavier Women’s Soccer continues to be a dominant force in the Big East and in the National picture, knocking off Tennessee in the NCAA Playoffs in 2022..
There are many uses for GPS tracking but we were able to catch up with the Xavier staff to learn about how they have implemented GPS.
#1 Practice Planning
With the difficulties of the collegiate soccer season, it can be tough to know how hard to train during the middle of the week. With GPS, the staff can use game data to understand baselines of players distance, work rate, sprint distance and load. Once you have a baseline, then you can adjust your training so that you are not over or under working your athletes.
For example, if you want to make sure your athletes are not over exposed on the amount of volume they are running, you can track their total distance during the session and see when they are approaching 80% of their normal game volume.
“Through conversations with players and observation of their game and practice data, we are able to regulate training for individuals who play high minutes. This is important in ensuring our top players are fresh going into competition and stay healthy throughout the season.” Nate Lie, Head Coach.
#2 Training the Reserves
As important as making sure starters are ready for games, it is important to make sure reserves are ready if their number is called upon due to injury or anything else. By using GPS tracking, coaches can assess what typical numbers look like for starters in that position group. On days following a match, the coaching staff will focus on small sided games with the reserves and push them to achieve similar game values that the starters achieved the day before. This ensures that they are kept in shape and are ready to contribute, should they see more play time.
#3 Program Competitiveness
As a nationally ranked program, naturally the Musketeers are competitive as it is, but in order to compete at the highest level you must first compete against yourself and your teammates. With the GPS data, players are able to see where they rank vs their teammates and push to run faster, further and longer. With the mobile app, players can quickly access their data on the road or after practice.
“The SPT system has allowed for us to shout out players who have performed exceptionally based on their numbers in matches and our results as a team. We’ve been able to correlate goals and defensive efforts with our collected data. In our last spring season, we were able to compile practice and game data to show individuals where they stood amongst their teammates within their position group and the rest of the team. It provided us the opportunity to praise players or hold them more accountable and set goals for where they can improve in the upcoming season.” Katy Etlelman, Assistant Coach.