31 Jan STATSports Reveal Significant Increase of GPS Technology Usage in Ladies Gaelic Football
STATSports hosted a media event at the GAA National Games Centre at Abbotstown today, featuring a panel discussion with prominent Ladies Gaelic Football stars.
Attended by Meath’s Mary Kate Lynch, Armagh’s Aimee Mackin, Dublin’s Jennifer Dunne, Mayo’s Danielle Caldwell, and Kerry’s Kayleigh Cronin, the event aimed to shed light on the evolving physical demands of the ladies’ game and the role that technology continues to play in enhancing fitness levels and injury prevention.
The gathering included a discussion on the growing influence of athlete monitoring and GPS tracking technology in ladies’ football. STATSports reported an impressive 235% increase in the use of their technology by LGFA players over the past two years, surpassing the 137% increase observed in the men’s game.
In 2021, data revealed that on average, a ladies’ midfielder covered 6,989m in total distance, 225m in high-speed meters (distance over 19.8 km/h), executed 9 sprints, and achieved a maximum speed of 25.45 km/h.
Fast forward to 2023, and these metrics have increased to 7,286m, 260m, 12 sprints, and 25.56 km/h, respectively. This highlights the remarkable improvement in player fitness and speed, with physical demands being pushed on an annual basis.
Commenting from the panel, Meath fullback Mary Kate Lynch spoke on the growth of the ladies’ game from a physical, tactical, and technical perspective: “You can see year on year there’s been a big increase in the development of skills across the board. Teams are getting quicker, they’re getting sharper, there’s more tactics involved. Having technology like GPS devices means we know the targets we have to hit in games.”
Pre-season is traditionally a period of sustained physical conditioning, getting athletes up to speed in an efficient and safe manner, ahead of the new season. GPS is a significant tool for performance staff at inter-county level, but the players themselves are now becoming more familiar with the use of the devices.
“In pre-season you need to be tracking your load. You have those hard set running sessions, because the games are going to come quick and fast. So, if you have the volume in the legs from pre-season, you can just top it up as you’re going. Mentally having that done and feeling ready, then going into games knowing you have a good preparation done, with the data backing that up, is huge,” Lynch, continued.
While the use of GPS technology has been a staple of the men’s game for at least a decade, it has only been a recent addition to the ladies’ game. Four-time All-Ireland winner with Dublin, Jennifer Dunne, spoke about the encouraging signs around the investment in the sport.
“When I first came into the Dublin setup back in 2018, I don’t even know if we had access to GPS. I think, across the board most inter county women’s teams would now. Back then, it would’ve been the case that the men’s teams would get access to it, so why shouldn’t the girls? But now with more access to funding, we are, and that’s a great thing.”
Dunne talked about the need for education around the use of GPS and how players and teams can extract the most value from the technology: “I think over the last couple of years we’ve nearly had to sit down and just talk about what GPS can be used for and how they can benefit us. There are some girls that probably wouldn’t have thought a huge amount about it because you come in to a setup and you just think about football, which is obviously the priority. But again, you realise how much more information can be tracked and how you, as a player, can advance your game so much from learning more about what can be done on the technology side of it.”
As part of its commitment to advancing the ladies’ game, STATSports also announced a competition during the event.
GAA clubs have the chance to win access to cutting-edge GPS technology in the form of a comprehensive package of GPS trackers, valued at €6,500.
To be in with a chance of winning this superb prize, just click here to enter.
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