Garmin and Southampton FC – How Technology Aids Sport

We have a long standing relationship with Southampton FC and we’re proud to provide a range of our products to the players and coaching team to aid training, performance and even recovery. It’s brilliant to see our products continue to push the boundaries between sport and technology!

To find out a little more about exactly how Saints use technology, we had a chat with Alek Gross, Head of Sport Science at Southampton Football Club…

How does the club use technology and the data it provides?

"Through our ongoing partnership with Garmin, we were able to provide our players and coaches with a wide range of fitness and wellness devices across running, cycling, multi-sport and general wellbeing to help monitor their fitness and activity levels. We use a range of technologies such as these to assess performance and wellbeing for both our fit and injured players."

Southampton FC and Garmin Sport & Fitness Technology

"Sleep is a cornerstone of recovery and performance and is an area we focus on throughout the season. We assess sleep subjectively via personal questionnaires and for those identified with potential issues we use a Garmin vivoactive smartwatch to give us a more in-depth objective marker of sleep quality and quantity. We then use this data to assess the impact and success of any sleep-based interventions we deploy until we see sleep measured at a suitable level both objectively and subjectively."

How do you use GPS technology and data?

"Each training session is measured using GPS data, which gives us information on areas such as total distance, the number of accelerations and decelerations a player undertakes, the amount of high-speed running they do, top speeds and even step balance. This information is used to plan and devise suitable training drills and sessions at certain points within a week or season and also to see how players have reacted to certain training sessions."

"Because we collect longitudinally we know how players should react and to certain sessions. Through analysis we can determine if their reaction is abnormal, which would be indicative of injury risk or performance decrement. We would then use this data to plan appropriate intervention and subsequent training sessions."

Garmin are proud to be official navigation and fitness device partner to Southampton FC

How does technology aid rehabilitation?

"We use a range of monitoring tools within gym and rehabilitation settings. For example, we use accelerometer data to prescribe and assess velocity of movements within the gym to ensure they are adequate levels, we also use Garmin Vector 2 power meter pedals to asses performance output through cycling. To assess and prescribe both bike and pool-based fitness sessions, we use the Garmin Forerunner 920XT from the brand’s triathlon range, these products and methods are used with injured players and to supplement on-field training."

Has the club looked outside of football for learnings?

"Yes. Whilst we reflect upon our current practice and consistently review and evaluate processes internally we have a culture of both inviting experts into the club to discuss ideas, thoughts, processes and technologies and of our staff going to external conferences and visiting different clubs. It is essential that we continue to improve and develop in line with technology to ensure we stay ahead of our competitors. The partnership that we have with technology brand, Garmin helps us to achieve this."

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Garmin and Saints FC while we work together, using technology to arm the team with data and analysis to ensure the best possible performance and results for the club!

Thank you to Alek Gross and the team at Southampton FC for sharing their insights with us.