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How Football Analytics Are Helping to Decrease Injuries at the University of Wyoming

Author: Dave Grendzynski

Eric Donoval, the Director of Sports Performance for the University of Wyoming football team, offers a unique perspective on how KINEXON football analytics are reshaping his program’s training methods.

The University of Wyoming uses sports anlaytics from KINEXON to help provide their coaches and players with insights into their performance each week.

Coach Donoval was an accomplished college running back and return specialist at Wisconsin-La Crosse. Following his college career, he played football for the Wisconsin Wolfpack of the Continental Indoor Football League. 

He’s currently in his fourth year serving as Director of Sports Performance for Cowboy Football. My current role is the director of sport performance for the University of Wyoming football team,” he said. I oversee the comprehensive development of our football team with five full-time strength coaches designated just for football. We’ve been using KINEXON since the fall and felt comfortable with it.” 

Now, he’s using sports technology to help the players he coaches perform their best each time they take the field. Here’s how he’s doing it.

Objective Information for Better Coaching

The University of Wyoming uses football analytics to help their players stay in shape during the offseason and perform better during the season.

Objective insights to complement intuitive coaching are crucial. To get this done, Coach Donoval uses a combination of KINEXON’s LPS and GPS systems. 

Eric states, Having objective information to either show us things we aren’t necessarily seeing or to validate things that we already see is vital. The most significant component of using GPS for us has been to quantify what the athletes are doing on the field.” 

With KINEXON, tracking metrics like yardage, acceleration density, and player demands during practices and games becomes more straightforward. This accurate information helps in optimizing training regimens and preventing injury. 

Download: Guide to Load Management in Football

Football Analytics for Injury Prevention

The University of Wyoming football program uses player tracking to compile sports analytics with KINEXON wearable technology.

No system can predict or prevent every injury. But this is one area where Coach Donoval noticed a difference. He credits understanding player demands and ensuring they’re equipped to meet those demands, which reduces injury risks.

Reflecting on the team’s progress, Eric notes, Last year, we pushed 100% of the high-speed yardage required for the first week of camp. We had no soft tissue injury during the camp. While some of it might be luck, comparing this to the 19 hamstring injuries in 2018, the objective information seems to have helped lower injury rates,” he said. Will it alleviate all injuries in football? Absolutely not. But it certainly (can help) drive that injury rate down a little bit.”

Sports Data That Makes a Difference

Members of the University of Wyoming football team wear football (soccer) vests under their practice and game uniforms that are equipped with player tracking sensors that store information like sprints and jumps.

One of the key analytics in football that Eric says makes a difference is yardage, especially high-speed yardage. The team looks at three primary speed zones to evaluate performance and adaptability. But there are other detailed metrics coach looks at, including: 

  • Total Load
  • Top Speed
  • Max Acceleration and Deceleration 

These metrics give coaches an in-depth understanding of each player’s physicality. While delving into minor metrics like metabolic power could be tempting, Eric believes in keeping things straightforward, We definitely try to keep it simple and not have paralysis by analysis.”

Communication Provides Inspiration

Members of the University of Wyoming football team wear football (soccer) vests under their practice and game uniforms that are equipped with player tracking sensors that store information like sprints and jumps.

But the data shouldn’t be confined to the coaches; it can be motivational. Eric says, There are metrics we like sharing with the athletes, like top speed or acceleration peaks. Sharing this can spur competition and improvement.” Maintaining a clear line of communication between coaching staff and athletes, backed by objective metrics, helps align training strategies and goals.

Sports Scientists and Staff Support

A sports scientist uses a GPS antenna that works together with a player tracking device worn by players to collect sports data like movement and positioning.

But it’s not just about the numbers. It’s also about the support system behind those numbers. Eric praises KINEXON, saying, What sets it apart is the access to the support. Having that support just a phone call away has been awesome. Things get fixed in a timely fashion, which is vital because time is valuable, and we need to relay this information to our coaches promptly.”

KINEXON Sports Analytics for Football

A sports scientist holds a player tracking sensor that is used to collect information on players like acceleration and deceleration and yardage.

Sports analytics is innovating the game, and KINEXON is at the forefront. As Coach Donoval aptly summarizes, It’s been great to have some objective information to go alongside the coaching. Coaching is still a critical piece, and working with KINEXON has been a fantastic experience.” 

Football is changing. And the partnership between the University of Wyoming and KINEXON is just another example of how technology and sports can work together perfectly. 

If you’re curious about how we track football players, download the brochure through the link below, or feel free to reach out anytime!

Download: PERFORM GPS Pro Brochure for Football

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