GPS devices in sport for all!

The ideas that player analysis is only for the elite, that it is unaffordable, or even that it is not worth the time and effort are ideas that prevent teams from winning matches. Elite teams the world over are tracking players.

Coaches at all levels in sport are using GPS devices which enable them to analyse and optimise players performances and fitness.

There is a reason so much time and effort are invested in this aspect of analysis – it helps teams win!

Why use GPS devices in sport?

Data from GPS devices provides players and coaches insights into the effectiveness of training programmes and helps evaluate effort and exertion.

Whether it’s football analysis, rugby analysis, hockey analysis, baseball analysis, netball analysis, in fact analysis in any team sport – coaches are relying more and more on data recorded from an athlete’s time on the pitch and in training.

Wearable technology, as it is now called, has become affordable and readily available. The competition in sport has become so great that schools, colleges and universities are relying on GPS data to improve player fitness and to pick their teams based on performance metrics.

How do GPS devices work in sport?

GPS devices use the “Global positioning system (GPS) technology” to record a players position at any given moment. If a player runs from point A to point B we know how far they ran and and the time it took.

Software used to analyse recorded information can calculate the various speeds the player ran, the distance covered, how many times they accelerated and decelerated and can categorise this data into “bands”.

This helps coaches identify periods of most intense play. Fitness levels and other performance factors such as the impact a player suffers and possible fatigue are also identifiable. Strength and conditioning results can also be easily quantified.

How does this benefit the team?

As well as using GPS information to analyse individual athletes, coaches are also creating comparison reports enabling them and team members to very quickly understand efforts made.

The most common metrics produced include:

Activity metrics which show how far and how fast players have run might include duration (time in a match or in training), distance covered, average speed, max speed, high intensity speed duration, high intensity speed distance, total sprints, high intensity sprints, the number of sprints in the various speed bands, time spent in the selected speed bands.

Fitness metrics might include average heart rate, maximum heart rate and heart rate intensity.

Exertion metrics that demonstrate overall efforts made and that help to predict fatigue and possible injury might include athletic load, number of accelerations and the number of deceleration’s.

Another metric that is becoming more important is impact data which helps to predict concussion in impact sports such as rugby and hockey.

With the accessibility of this information decisions around training, rest periods and who plays in matches are based on actual performance data.

Building a library of performance metrics

Building a library of performance metrics also makes it very easy for coaches to see the training effects and performances over time. This information is very valuable to the fitness and longevity of an athlete’s career.

I hope this article sheds some light into how GPS devices are used in sports  and how the information recorded helps teams win.


About the Author: Anadi James Taylor

About the Author: Anadi James Taylor


I am expert in helping sports clubs, schools, colleges and universities improve their sporting performances using Sports Video Analysis and GPS Performance Analysis.

I developed with world class sports scientists, coaches and trainers and university lecturers to help optimise, maximise and realise the performance of athletes and teams.

iSportsAnalysis has helped over 120 universities, private schools and clubs to reach their true sporting potential; whether that has been from them using the iSportsAnalysis online video streaming services, our online sports video analysis, coaches corner or our GPS performance analysis, the results speak for themselves!

We help you win!

Find out more at

iSportsAnalysis - World Leaders in Sports Analysis are world leaders in online sports analysis. We help clubs, universities, colleges and schools win matches and sporting competitions.

Want to bring out the magic in your sport?


We can help!

Enter your first name and email below.

(Dont worry - we promise to keep your details safe!)


Thank you for subscribing to the iSportsAnalysis newsletter.