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“Football intelligence always triumphs.” It’s a common mantra among top players. Most of the time they’re referring to in-game situations, but the idea applies to every aspect of football – including training. The message is simple: train smart, or be left behind.

It’s truer than ever in the modern game, where every little decision can be the difference between victory and defeat. That’s why you need to train good habits, and most importantly, the right habits, to excel in your position, as Wales FA Head of Performance Tony Strudwick explained when we spoke to him about PLAYR’s revolutionary smart training devices.

“The game is getting quicker, and there’s more of an emphasis on different positions – I think that will continually evolve over the next five to 10 years. Using sophisticated technology like PLAYR, from Catapult Sports group, allows us to really drill down into the detailed specifics of not only the game, but each of the different positions.” It’s all about data.

The PLAYR SmartPod combines GPS and accelerometer technologies to precisely track your movements in training, allowing you to measure your speed, distance, sprints, and heat maps. The very same devices are used by elite-level players, including those under Tony’s tutelage at the Wales FA, and the insight they produce directly affects how the players train.

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“When we talk about training for the critical moments, and I'm big on that, we’re really talking about training and developing players to use data to analyse, recover and prepare to execute in the big moments,” says Strudwick. “That’s where post-match heatmaps become essential in analysing the area covered by a player and the intensity of the workload.”

Tracking. Measurement. Analysis. All accessible on your smartphone through a bespoke app. Maybe you want to compare your movements from one game to the next, or perhaps you want to judge your stamina by looking at the number of first-half sprints versus number of second-half sprints. Maybe you just want to see how you measure up against the pros. The PLAYR system makes such comparisons simple, with easy-to-understand visuals and statistics. It also offers recovery advice from expert sport scientists, interpreting the data to give you recommendations on not only what to do after a session, but also how best to prepare for the next one, so you’re always at peak level when you need to be.

Everything about PLAYR is designed to help you improve from one session to the next, and, ultimately, optimise your performance on the pitch. There’s a reason the likes of Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, and Bayer Leverkusen use Catapult's GPS tracking: this is cutting-edge technology that makes a genuine difference to your game. And now it’s available to everyone, the only smart choice is to use it too. Football intelligence triumphs once again.

The full PLAYR smart training system, including GPS pod, vest, and app, is available now at prodirectsoccer.com

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