This story originally featured on www.gq.com.au. The GQ Accelerate content series created by GQ in partnership with Audi.
10 April, 2019
Catapult uses technology and data manipulation to track and report on the performance of elite athletes
Back in 2006, Igor Van de Griendt and Shaun Holthouse worked closely with the government-run Australian Institute of Sport to invent an athlete-tracking device as part of research to help prepare athletes for Olympic competition.
The device, Catapult, was created as a fitness-tracking accessory that uses technology and data manipulation to track and report on the performance of elite athletes to a new level of accuracy. Today, Catapult Sports has become the world leader in wearable athlete tracking technology - working with over 2000 world-class sporting teams and institutions in a vast range of sports.
“We service more than 2000 of the world’s best sporting teams, in more than 30 different sports,” Holthouse tells GQ. “Names like Real Madrid, Chelsea Football Club, The New York Giants and Milwaukee Bucks, plus every AFL team, every NRL team, they all use our products.”
Wanting to go a step past consumer trackables like Fitbit and into the professional realm, the team relied heavily on providing coaches with the clinical facts of science when it comes to player performance. Each accessory uses a GPS system to measure player workload, acceleration, deceleration, directional changes and explosive movements.
“Our core wearable technology is something that’s not worn on the wrist like a Fitbit, it’s worn on the top of your back. If you watch AFL or NRL and some other sports around the world you’ll see a little lump at the top of their back underneath their jumper - that’s catapult,” Holthouse adds.
“We collect more than 1000 data points per second, per athlete, and send that data to the coach’s computer on the sidelines. The real special sauce is the software and analytics that look at that data and turn it into insights about how you can improve tactic or performance, or minimise injury.”
For more from the GQ Accelerate content series:
We collect more than 1000 data points per second, per athlete, and send that data to the coach’s computer on the sidelines
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