Active ‘self-tracking’ to help Ajax on its way to the next championship

AjaxAs technology becomes more accessible to everybody, an increasing number of soccer coaches and clubs are beginning to see the use of active monitoring of their players. First, the Dutch national soccer coach started checking their sleep patterns, and now Ajax’ coach Frank de Boer has started investigating the stress factor.

This was one of the examples that the successful soccer coach cited during his keynote at the Sportinnovatie Congres event last week in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. And it was the most striking, too.

Lasse Schøne has just woken up. The Ajax player gets out of bed, grabs his iPhone and connects it to his head and arm using two electrodes. In just a few minutes time, a reading is retrieved by an app and sent to the stress physiologist. This is how Ajax measures Schøne’s stress factor.

The device and the app which De Boer refers to, is the Omegawave, a strap that is worn around the soccer player’s chest and directly synchronizes readings with an app and any physician or physiologist who is monitoring the data remotely.

After adapted training sessions, experimenting with multiple practice matches a day and tailored diets, the use of the Omegawave is just one example of the many ways in which the Amsterdam-based soccer club intends to get an optimum performance out of its players.

The role of Ajax’ sponsor Adidas is far from insignificant in this respect. The sports brand is actively deploying its miCoach technology, and already two years ago it developed an innovative ‘inflatable hall’ and a matching research centre that is connected to VU University Amsterdam.

Incidentally, this is certainly not the first time that the Omegawave is used in the area of soccer. Frank de Boer has been using the sensors since the 2013 winter break, when his team flew out to Brazil for a training camp.