New fitness tracker by UniSA keeps pace for Australian cricketers

Fabian Garcia-Byrne, PhD researcher at UniSA and Strength & Conditioning Coach at SACA

When you’re an elite athlete, every advantage counts. So, when you have access to the latest developments in sport performance, it’s an edge you can’t overlook. Now, a new fitness tracker developed by the University of South Australia is helping predict sports performance among Australian cricketers to elevate their performance to the next level.

How does the fitness tracker work?

Developed in partnership with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA), the new technology helps coaches detect changes in an athlete’s aerobic performance, providing valuable information about their stamina and recovery. Currently being trialled by the West End Redbacks, the new tool has the capacity to measure fatigue between matches.

This technology enables coaches to immediately know whether a player needs rest or can ramp up their training. UniSA PhD researcher and Strength & Conditioning Coach at SACA, Fabian Garcia-Byrne, says the new tool could be a game-changer for Australian sports.

Why is the fitness tracker a vital technology in sports?

“Over the past four years we’ve been developing a technology that can detect changes to players’ aerobic performance and stamina. We can measure players’ running form – their gait and lateral sway – and can predict fitness levels within only two minutes,” Garcia-Byrne says.

“Aerobic performance is a vital component of fitness because it enables players to reduce the effect of fatigue during long periods of play or across multi-day matches. Ultimately, this test will provide coaches with an alternative method to determine players’ fitness levels.”

“Instead of getting players to do a maximum level effort test which increases fatigue, this test can be deployed as part of their warmups – so it doesn’t even impact on their training.”

The researchers are now working with SACA to introduce the tool to leagues such as Cricket Australia, and other sports like the English Premier League Soccer, AFL, AFLW and rugby.