Title

Use of Integrated Technology in Team Sports: A Review of Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions for Athletes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2014

Abstract

Integrated technology (IT), which includes accelerometers, global positioning systems (GPSs), and heart rate monitors, has been used frequently in public health. More recently, IT data have been used in sports settings to assess training and performance demands. However, the impact of IT in sports settings is yet to be evaluated, particularly in field-based team sports. This narrative-qualitative review provides an overview of the emerging impact of IT in sports settings. Twenty electronic databases (e.g., Medline, SPORTdiscus, and ScienceDirect), print publications (e.g., Signal Processing Magazine and Catapult Innovations news releases), and internet resources were searched using different combinations of keywords as follows: accelerometers, heart rate monitors, GPS, sport training, and field-based sports for relevant articles published from 1990 to the present. A total of 114 publications were identified, and 39 that examined a field-based team sport using a form of IT were analyzed. The articles chosen for analysis examined a field-based team sport using a form of IT. The uses of IT can be divided into 4 categories: (a) quantifying movement patterns (n = 22), (b) assessing the differences between demands of training and competition (n = 12), (c) measuring physiological and metabolic responses (n = 16), and (d) determining a valid definition for velocity and a sprint effort (n = 8). Most studies used elite adult male athletes as participants and analyzed the sports of Australian Rules football, field hockey, cricket, and soccer, with sample sizes between 5 and 20 participants. The limitations of IT in a sports setting include scalability issues, cost, and the inability to receive signals within indoor environments. Integrated technology can contribute to significant improvements in the preparation, training, and recovery aspects of field-based team sports. Future research should focus on using IT with female athlete populations and developing resources to use IT indoors to further enhance individual and team performances.