By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 11:28, 01 April 2020
Ahead of this year’s Ashes series in the UK, the Australian Women’s Cricket Team has been using Apple Watch and a powerful activity monitoring app from the Australian Institute of Sport to optimise team training, reduce injury risk and enhance performance.
Through wearing Apple Watch and interacting with the app, the team tracks and shares their all-day activity, enabling coaches to monitor and modify the team’s workload based on key metrics including training load, heart rate, mood and sleep data.
This real-time dashboard gives performance staff an insight into the team’s workload and training capacity, and the ability to make meaningful modifications to improve a player’s prospects, even from afar during periods where players are travelling.
“Apple Watch delivers highly accurate and instantaneous data, which has helped us overcome previous challenges where player data reached us too late to be leveraged.
Now we can analyse player data in real time and put interventions in place to manage player fatigue and mitigate the risk of injury,” said Cricket Australia’s David Bailey, performance coach. “Since the team has worn Apple Watch and shared activity, we’ve seen players become more accountable and engaged in the training process, more motivated by the data, and have more fun along the way.”
The Australian Institute of Sport developed the app to equip professional teams with a comprehensive athlete management tool that gives players and coaches powerful data to make better decisions. The app measures training load and player fatigue to ensure players do not overtrain and run the risk of injury.
“We’ve always known that speed, breadth and accuracy would be critical if data was going to make a difference to a team’s performance,” said Australian Institute of Sport’s Ian Morrow, applied technology and innovation project manager.
“We also knew we could get performance benefits by having athletes obsessed with their data, and Apple Watch has helped us do this. The ability for the AIS to utilise the powerful sensors within Apple Watch gave us an opportunity to deliver on our ambition to innovate within performance management and create something literally game changing.”
The popularity of Apple Watch is also driving players to wear it for longer and therefore share a more comprehensive view of their day. The ability for players to share their Activity rings with each other keeps them motivated and helps them feel connected to the team.
“Within elite sports there’s often not huge differences or margins between the best teams in the world, so being precise and insights-led with the way that you train can make a huge difference when you’re on the field,” said Meg Lanning, Australian captain.
“Data is not only motivating from a personal perspective, it can create a competitive edge as well. Using a device as personal as an Apple Watch has enabled everyone in the squad to communicate better and take ownership of their own training preparation, giving them a clear understanding of what they’re doing and why. It’s brilliant.”