Why do athletes wear GPS trackers?


GPS tracking and analysis is becoming a massive part of many field-based sports. Commonly used in training and matches, these impressive devices are used to monitor performance data of athletes and offer deeper insight into the players’ movement on the pitch. Once reserved for elite athletes, GPS analysis is now prevalent at all levels with players U8 and up using the devices to understand which areas work on to develop skill and see an improvement as a player.

STATSports have been the chosen supplier of many world-class teams for over 15 years since the company’s inception in 2008 and is famously worn by professional athletes across a wide variety of sports such as football, rugby, and GAA. However, this expertise is now becoming more accessible to players of all levels who can invest in a GPS tracking device of their own and gathering performance data from every training session or match-day.

Consistently logging each session will allow players to review their efforts throughout a season, along with the ability to view performance across different metrics. So, if you want to know when you were hitting your top Max Speed across an entire season, the app will have the answer.

The ability to monitor load and intensity of each session provides valuable insight and allows players, parents, and coaches to make informed decisions on when to push harder, or when to opt for a lighter training session. It is these types of decisions which are key to ensuring a player can cope with the demands placed on them throughout a season and reduce the risk of injury or fatigue as much as possible.

These are just a few examples of why the STATSports tracker is regarded as the industry’s leading GPS tracking device and continues to dominate its field, supported further by annual feature releases in the Athlete Series accompanying app (no subscription fee - no ads). Below, we will take a closer look as to why it is the best GPS tracking device on the market.

How does it differ from other trackers?

The STATSports GPS tracker is unique since it is the only product type that is permitted by sporting organizations to be worn in competitions, this includes FIFA, World Rugby, and GAA.


Additionally, it is the only product on the market that requires a one-off payment rather than a subscription, saving you money in the long run.

The tracked data obtained by these trackers includes:

  • Total distance Ran

  • Heat Map

  • Distance Per min

  • High speed running/High intensity running

  • Max Speed/ No of sprints

  • Acceleration & Deceleration

  • Step Balance

  • Heart Rate

Once the session is complete the athlete syncs the pod to their phone via the app. A full breakdown of all the key metrics is then displayed within the app with the player’s analysis split out into 3 sections; Volume, Speed, and Heart Rate.

What metrics does it track?

Volume - Faster AND Fitter

GPS Performance trackers can identify the strengths and weaknesses in your game that may go unnoticed otherwise. You can then tailor your training to improve these metrics. Do you feel like you get fatigued too quickly in a match? Well, you can break down your performance in 5-minute intervals and see at what point your performance starts to drop or at what distance. You then use this information to improve your stats and become a better player.

A GPS tracker allows an athlete to measure the Total Distance ran in a session or match, which can be used as a starting point to improve fitness levels. For example, this can be achieved by measuring the distance covered in a pre-season training session versus four weeks later. This allows for a player’s fitness levels to be measured accurately, thus providing a clear picture of their performance and capabilities.

Not only does the APEX Series track Total Distance ran, but it also breaks the down the Total Distance ran at high speeds. This is called High Speed Running. The best players usually have completed more High-Speed Running because these players are harder to defend against or they can close opponents down faster.

Similar to this metric is the High Intensity Distance (HID), this metric factors in the High-Speed Running distance and Total Acceleration and Deceleration. Athletes that achieve a high intensity distance are more likely to become more involved in the game, creating chances and getting back in defensive shape.

Heat maps are another metric used by players to boost performance. Players can see how much of the pitch they covered and check if they are playing their position correctly. You also see the direction of your runs which means you can analyze your game and see if you played a more attacking or defense game.

Speed- More speed = More success

How can I improve my Max Sprint Speed? This is a question asked by many athletes. The answer is short and simple: a GPS Performance tracker. The GPS Tracker measures your Max Speed and Number of Sprints made allowing you to tailor your training to improve your sprint speed. Max Speed is an important metric because improving this can turn an average player into a top-level athlete in their sport.

As shown, these factors are particularly important as increasing speed can increase athletic performance. For example, Kyle Walker the recent treble winner for Man City is considered to be among the fastest athletes in the world which is why he has been so successful. GPS trackers can unleash the potential you have as a player and transform your performance.

Accelerations and Decelerations are just as important as Max Sprint speed because it can take athletes up to 60 meters to reach Max Speed. Therefore, players who make more, small bursts and change direction quickly are more successful. Step balance can be used as a warning sign because if a player uses one leg more than the other there is a higher risk of injury. Furthermore, it is optimal for a player’s speed to have step balance more consistent.

Heart rate

Combine GPS technology and heart rate data to maximize your performance. Why should athletes use a heart rate monitor? A heart rate monitor is becoming increasingly useful to the modern athlete. This is because modern sport is becoming more taxing due to the increasing intensity placed on athletes.

Heart rate monitors are used so athletes can train effectively. Athletes can train at a percentage of their Max Heart rate; this is useful to athletes because if they consistently train close to their Max Heart Rate, they will overexert themselves and their performance levels drop. A lower Average Heart rate means a player is performing more efficiently.


Injury prevention

By tracking sprints and distance covered managers can decide whether to rest players or play them again. With an increased level of games and training there is usually an increase in injuries and managers can track this trend to prevent injuries.

For example, if a player usually cramps after running 7k then a manager can see how far a player has ran in real time and then use this information to make a substitution before an injury occurs.

Pro Score

Once you have uploaded your sessions to the app, STATSports gives you a Pro Score based on 5 key metrics and compares you to the top athletes in the world. With our partnership with Arsenal Football Club, they have even scouted players with impressive Pro scores.

The STATSports GPS tracker helps athletes both individually and in a team setting. Their performance is compared with teammates which can be used to drive competition among players and collectively elevate performance levels. This feature is also great because it gives managers a detailed understanding of the players’ performance from a side-by-side view.

Why should Sunday League players wear them?

Whilst the use of GPS performance trackers is essential for professional athletes, players at a lower level can also get great benefit from using the GPS trackers. Players receive detailed insights which allow them to set realistic goals and monitor progress. GPS trackers can boost the overall training experience and they offer a data-driven approach to improving fitness.


STATSports APEX GPS Tracker

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