Karbener SV: A Youth Soccer Success Story

 

Karbener SV is a youth soccer club located in the town of Karben, near Frankfurt Germany. Their youth teams compete in the regional elite Hessenliga, and they have been using Titan GPS tracking for close to two years with over 100 players in their program.

Head Coach Steffen Potter:

I have been a coach for almost 25 years, using Titan technology for almost two years. I can now say that I would never again want to coach without GPS tracking. I have noticed that I was simply wrong about some of my players when it came to assessments of speed, efficiency, work rate and so on. While subjective analyses are part of football, there is no longer any excuse to exclude the objectivity you derive from GPS tracking.

Winning Strategies: Practice like you Play

We use the trackers in every training session and game. For practices we can maintain a view of how resilient the athletes are and who should perhaps stop a training session or slow it down. There is also the possibility of highlighting players who excel in training or those who need extra work. In a large training group, players could previously get lost in the crowd – that’s no longer possible!

After a game, we can see at a glance whether we played more or less intensely than in previous games. It is also very motivating for the players to see how they can gradually improve their individual bests.

Titan Metrics

Session Distance  gives us a first impression of how much a player has moved and how much we have run as a team. Position-specific differences can also be highlighted here.

Sprint Top Speed  is a critical benchmark as a predicter of game performance. We have actually switched to only selecting new players in certain positions who have a certain minimum speed and we are able to set targets with players to further improve the top speeds measured in play and training.

Sprint Total Score  further shows the frequency with which players are able to reach certain speeds. The Sprint Count is a simple and understandable way to give the athletes a snapshot of how many sprints they have achieved in a game, usually a good indicator of what kind of results were achieved.

GPS Load  gives us a kind of “overall assessment”, and we use this metric to assess the total stress an athlete is exposed to.

Session Explorer  is a lot of fun and offers fantastic analysis options. The heat maps are particularly interesting for our players; you can also see very well how tactical strategies have been implemented.

 

We once lost a game in which the core metrics seemed appropriate, ie the number of sprints, the session distance, the load and so on. Upon closer look at the sprint heatmap we found that our three attackers sprinted a lot, but almost exclusively horizontally or in retreat. We realized then a critical factor in this loss was our lack of intensity in our offensive attack. We set to work on correcting this successfully in the following weeks.

Organizational Management

There are several things that I really like. The ability to temporarily assign a sensor to another player is very helpful and not available with other systems. This helps, for example, with try-outs of players from other clubs or when a player from another team joins us temporarily. We never lose data for any players and can always make team comparisons. In addition, there is always a certain fluctuation in youth soccer, players come, others leave a club but the sensors can still be used.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

We based our financial assessment on a 3-year amortization of our Titan purchase. The amount came to roughly 60 € per player per year, or about 5 € per month. It was not difficult to get buy-in from the parents, as they quickly recognized how the use of the technology would lead to more balanced player assessments, increase the motivation of the youngsters by clearly showing their areas of improvement and things that need more work, and ultimately more team success!