A hot topic right now is how effective Adidas new miCoach technology is for players. It has not been designed for top level professional, instead its functionality has been built for both aspiring professionals and your everyday player – those that have a desire to improve their performance on the pitch. Having the opportunity to review your performance after a game offers huge advantages to players. It is tough to remember how you played in a game or training, but having a visual snapshot can offer a source of feedback for you to understand when you were playing your best soccer. The key is reviewing the resulting data and finding out what it actually means.
I have been using the system over the past few months on both the F50 adiZero and currently on the adiPure 11Pro with positive results. Breaking down the data will be different for everybody, but I went into my game last weekend with the intent of using the resulting data as an example of how the data can be used to full effect.
The Game Itself
We won the game on the day 5-1, although at half we were 1-0 down. My performance in that half felt sluggish, and I never really got going. The second half was a different story, as we got back into the game. I played 70 minutes in total and when I came off, we had turned the game around and the score was 4-1. In the second half, I scored 2 and got one assist and felt a lot more energetic – primarily after the halftime team talk. To read more about the game, see the match report.
Uploading the Data
I uploaded the data and included the 5 minutes before and after, plus the 10 minute half time interval. In theory, you can eliminate this data, but I believe it is important to include the in-between in order to get a good perspective of what is going on in real time. Once you enter information about the game, you are ready to start breaking things down!
In the 70 minutes of game action, I ended up running 4.1 miles and I had an active time of around 60 minutes. Professional players run an average of 8 miles per 90 minute game – so I can already tell there is a difference in how amateur players perform versus professionals. On average, I would expect to see a typical number of 6-7 miles for amateur players. My top speed reached a high of 18.1mph through a total of 42 in-game sprints.
Breaking It Down
I mentioned that my first half performance seemed to be sluggish. Well, in the first 45 minutes I ran 2.4 miles compared to 1.7 miles in 25 second half minutes, which means I covered more space per minute in the second – something I had anticipated! In the first half I made 24 sprints, compared to 18 in the second. All of the data correlates with what I had expected right after the game – my first half performance was weak!
Where it went wrong
In order to find where my performance slipped, I reviewed section where my activity seemed to be down. The first 20 minutes looked pretty good, and I had 1.2 miles and 14 sprints in the bag. But then my performance seemed to drop! Over the next 17 minutes I covered 0.65 miles and only managed 5 sprints. There were some friendly “arguments” that delayed the game around that time, but in all honesty not enough to account for the substantial drop. The key element during this time frame, or the obvious area that needs work, was my high-intensity distance, which stood at a pretty dismal 0.08 miles for the 17 minutes.
Knowing the Problem – What to do?
Having reviewed the data, and now seeing upfront where things went askew in my game, it is now about finding ways to improve and ensure my performance improves. It will be different for each player, but I can see quite easily that my intensity during the key 17 minutes in question was the problem. So, going into my next game wearing the adiPure 11Pro, I am going to focus on trying to keep my intensity up right through the entire first half. The key will be ensuring I continue to work after the initial 20 minutes.
On a Positive – The Second Half
At half time, we had a pretty serious discussion about what needed to change in the second half, and we found a way to come out with all guns blazing. Case in point, the chart above displays the intensity difference between both halves, with over 0.3 miles of high intensity distance covered in a short space of time! And with a higher work rate comes more opportunities, 2 goals and an assist later we had turned around a very important game!
Ultimately, is miCoach Technology a necessity?
Your performance is bound to change game after game, and the example above could have simply been related to the tempo of the game on that particular day. But ultimately, if you are looking for a way to step your game up to the next level and find areas where you currently struggle it is a great tool. My advice for those that have the technology is to track your performance over multiple games, review the content side-by-side and see if there are any areas that stand out. With several different Adidas ranges now featuring the option to use miCoach, it is becoming more of a viable option for players, although the average $260 price-tag for boots and a SPEED_CELL does still seem a little high and out of reach for most players.
For those interested in a miCoach and F50 adiZero bundle, you have the option between getting a mac/PC or iPhone/iPod, to help track your data! Both versions retail for $279.