The best modern footballers stand out because they have an excellent feel for the ball and sophisticated technique. But they only succeed if they also have a high degree of agility, speed, endurance and coordination.
That’s because football is becoming ever faster and more athletic. The magic word here is agility – the ability to start explosively, slow down, change direction and start explosively again. In football, like in most sports, the highly athletic players win the duels and running races that decide the game.
To find out exactly how athletic an athlete is and where his or her strengths and weaknesses lie, modern athletic coaches require meaningful sports-medicine performance diagnostics relating to their protégés.
Polytan SMART delivers just that. Polytan SMART is a digital-time and data-recording system from Polytan and its partner Humotion. The system is available for tartan tracks as well as for artificial turf sports fields. But what distinguishes the Polytan SMART system from other performance tests for athletes?
Polytan SMART – the smart performance test for athletes
This digital performance diagnostic system consists of three components: timing gates, a body-mounted sensor and Humotion’s SmarTracks Diagnostics software. Together, they can be used to measure, evaluate and compare an athlete’s running time, speed, stride length, stride frequency and jump height, among other things.
To see how top athletes such as sprinters Tatjana Pinto and Patrick Schneider train with Polytan SMART, check out this film.
One of the special features of Polytan SMART is that it can test athletes’ performances in a number of different sports as well as several athletes at the same time. Other benefits include:
- Extremely low measuring tolerances
- Optimum security against vandalism
- Simple digital evaluation and analysis via PC or app
- Fully functional in any weather
- No time-consuming assembly or disassembly of technical equipment.
We have already presented in detail the athletics version of the system for tartan tracks in one of our past blog posts, so now we’d like to turn our attention to the version for sports fields with artificial turf.
Artificial turf sports field with Polytan SMART
As with the application on tartan tracks, the timing gates for artificial turf sports fields are installed invisibly under the playing surface. Better still, the system works on new artificial turf sports fields as well as existing ones.
Once the boreholes have been properly closed following the installation of the timing gates, the 500 mm long and 25 mm thick “pins” remain submerged in the substrate, maintenance-free and 100% safe from vandalism.
How does Polytan SMART work?
All relevant parameters relating to the athletes can be recorded with it: Two magnetic elements facing each other form a time barrier and, using several time barriers at specific intervals, movement courses can be set – for example to determine endurance performance, sprint intervals or conduct agility tests on runners while they train.
The second component of Polytan SMART is a wearable body sensor – weighing just 12g – which athletes attach to their bodies as part of a belt. In conjunction with the magnetic time barriers, all key parameters are recorded on the sensor and transferred to the computer after training. Alternatively, we also offer a free SMART Run app designed by Humotion for use on smartphones (Android and IOS systems).
How much does an artificial turf pitch with Polytan SMART cost?
The cost of an artificial turf pitch with Polytan SMART varies depending on a number of factors specific to each pitch. The condition of the subsoil, for example, plays a decisive role: Does it have to be completely renewed, or can it be repaired and reused? And of course, the choice of system product and infill is also reflected in the overall costs.
Using Polytan SMART performance diagnostics, an athlete’s running time, speed, stride length, stride frequency and jump height can be measured and subsequently analysed. Additional agility tests are especially suitable for team sports such as football, rugby and hockey.
Agility tests on artificial turf sports fields
Ever wonder how athletic certain members of your team are in reality? How quickly can they change direction, stop and accelerate again? To create a meaningful profile that properly illustrates an individual athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, football, hockey and rugby coaches like to use Change of Direction (COD) tests.
Polytan SMART offers five different variants of this test:
- Three Cone Drill
- Arrowhead Agility
- Illinois Agility
- 5-10-5 Shuttle
- Custom Agility
In addition, three tests can be included to assess an athlete’s jumping abilities: “Countermovement Jump”, “Drop Jump” and “Squat Jump”. What’s more, tappings and linear sprints can also be measured and evaluated. More information can be found here .