GPS technology can offer so much more than merely driving directions, and this is one more example of just that. A European rugby team has begun using GPS tracking chips to manage conditioning of its players. The compiled data is giving unprecedented insight into player performance and is translating into substantial gains.

GPS Tracking Spearheads Conditioning Program For Rugby Players
GPS Tracking Spearheads Conditioning Program For Rugby Players

It’s widely known that GPS technology can track the movement of vehicles and fleets all over the world. So, why wouldn’t it be able to track athletic performance as well? The short answer is it can, and a European rugby team has designed a cutting-edge conditioning program for their players using GPS tracking chips.

The beauty of the application is in its relative simplicity. Many GPS tracking devices integrate a combination if motion-sensing capabilities, gyroscopes, accelerometers, ball-bearings, etc. In vehicle tracking scenarios, these features measure instances of aggressive driving…acceleration, deceleration, and hard-cornering. Instead of measuring the movement of vehicles, the British and Irish Lions Rugby Team is merely measuring the movements of their players.

Some interesting data has already been revealed. GPS measurements and baselines have already been established that indicate averages on how many “meters per minute” their players run (overall speed), and also that some of their players will run up to 10 kilometers per match. They have also modified their training program and running techniques. They’ve discovered that “horizontal speed” and deceleration put undue stress on hamstrings, and so have made adjustments to ensure that player bodies are not pushed to unnecessary extremes. This is an interesting use of GPS tracking technology, and one that we see many more athletic organizations taking advantage of in the near future.


We have more great articles in our archives on GPS technology. “GPS Tracking News & Gossip For Friday May 24, 2013″