fun or stress? Kickers footballer Jeanette Harttung on the pros and cons of digital training methods for amateurs

Whether data collection and analysis via a mobile phone or electronic training aids such as LED panels – when successfully applied in professional soccer, computer technology should also find application in amateur training. There are first attempts at walking, for example the women’s soccer team of FC Würzburger Kickers is gaining experience in data-driven training sessions. And in Werneck (Schweinfurt district), the footballers develop a system consisting of training equipment and a smartphone app. Much is still a vision, but not a utopia anymore.

Does data-driven training also make sense in amateur soccer?

Jeanette Harttung comes from Nuremberg and has been training in the high-performance sports classes of the Berthold Brecht school since the fifth grade. She recently played in middle midfield with the Würzburger Kickers, who had just been relegated from the regional league. He wants to make a leap into the women’s Bundesliga – either England, Spain or the US. The 19-year-old says: “You can get a lot out of the recorded data during training.” You train less in the dark, the fitness level is available “in black and white” via the app. “But in the end, the quality of the ball should be decisive.”

Harald Lange, who is head of the sports science department at the University of Würzburg and born in 1968, recently provocatively tossed a thesis at a symposium organized by the Bavarian Center for Political Education at the University of Würzburg: “Regional league football used to be better”. What did he mean, “We didn’t have any data on us, who wants to prove what I said was wrong?” Now, data can also be stored in Class B – and retrieved in ten or 20 years. This may spark the ambition to “increase the level of productivity in the long run”.

What do the clubs say about the offers?

Jonas Schulz, co-creator of the digital training method “Groundpasser”, which uses LED panels to train passing and shooting accuracy and evaluate it via the app, is a footballer himself: with TSV Ettleben / Werneck. Recognizes the need for “district league clubs up or ambitious district league teams”. And: “It depends on whether or not the club has a young coach.” In the Lower Franconian Eastern District League he spoke to all clubs and received positive feedback. With exceptions: “Thulba objected to the fact that only 13 people came to training, so you don’t need any data to form a team.”

The club’s digitization is no stranger to Benjamin Krumpholz, sports director at TSV Sulzfeld’s district football club. He uses social media to promote the club and has a six-digit reach on Instagram. He is skeptical about digitized training: “Do amateur clubs even want this? For many, it’s about two hours of digging with friends, followed by a beer. It doesn’t matter if you did two more sprints than last week. ”

What are the players’ experiences like?

Jeanette Harttung recently spent two months training with women Kickers using the fitness app “B42”. Digitally supported training, including video analytics, accounted for up to 20 percent of the total workload. “I also used the app independently and only used it. This is great for ambitious amateurs: you learn professional knowledge that bridges the gap between amateurs and professionals. For example, in the prevention of injuries with special exercises for the back muscle chain ”- not every amateur trainer has his repertoire.

Does data-driven training deal more specifically with female biology?

In many professional clubs in Germany, training is tailored to the woman’s menstrual cycle. “Training can be controlled according to the menstrual cycle. For example, on “days”, running training is easier than strength training, says Harttung. B42 developer Andreas Gschaider explains: “In addition to the three off-season, pre-season and pre-season phases, our training programs for women also include a period phase to switch to during menstruation.” To units that set a reduced stimulus.

The first European club to adapt its training methodology to women’s needs is Chelsea FC. Trainer Emma Hayes has meticulously analyzed that the players’ energy and mood largely depend on their menstrual cycle. By adjusting exercise and nutrition programs, Hayes hopes to better control cycle-related fluctuations in body weight and energy over the course of the month and to reduce the susceptibility to hormone-related soft tissue injury. Conclusions on which application “B42” is based. A proven and tested tool for men who train women’s teams according to the men’s training theory.

The dangers of optimizing digital performance: when does play become psychological stress?

Sports scientist Harald Lange sees parallels to “normal” life in the anticipated digitization of amateur football: “From a society’s point of view, there is a tendency towards self-optimization. Tendency to Narcissism. With the risk of “becoming a slave to the application.” For a long time, “if we digitize from the hips” it causes stomach ache. Personal eyesight at the navel with a smartphone harbors potential addiction. How true is 19-year-old Jeanette Harttung’s statement that this is “only dangerous for young people”? The answer is only possible in a few years.

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