Modern sport does a lot of analysis of each player’s involvement in the game. The one device that helps sports analyst track a player’s involvement in a game or a number of games is the sports bra. If you are just hearing of this for the first time, you should not fret. In this guide, we would be discussing the benefits of sports bras.
What is a sports bra?
Well, the so-called “sports bra” that you see players wearing is in fact not an item of clothing.
This is because they are athletic sports bras that are specifically designed for the purpose of holding GPS trackers within them.
You get the skin-tight construction on these pieces of gear primarily because there’s a pod that’s tucked into the back of the sports bra that acquires all the statistical data needed to make important decisions based on real-time player performance.
And beyond the basic performance metrics that get measured – such as speed, heart rate, and distance covered – the sport brass also contain accelerometers and gyroscopes that monitor how hard players accelerate and decelerate during periods of physical activity.
The statistical data and information concerning a player’s movements are recorded by the GPS tracking device and then passed over to a software dashboard that can be accessed using a laptop, desktop, tablet, or even a smartwatch.
How do sports bras work?
When you watch a lot of football, you grow accustomed to seeing short clips of the very best professionals performing exercises and fitness drills within training sessions.
For those with a keen eye, you will notice that most footballers wear black mini-sports bras either on top of their training shirts or underneath them. What you see, or only see an outline of, is a GPS sports bra that the footballer is wearing to monitor various aspects of their training performance.
The sports bras will either have a built-in or detachable GPS component which consists of numerous sensors that monitor several different data points and parameters in real time.
These sensors are paired and synchronized with a manufacturer-provided mobile application which the athlete then uses to monitor and evaluate his or her own sporting performance.
The data gotten from the players
All the data points are collected rapidly, which helps analyze heart rate, explosion rate, and how much energy is exerted with each movement.
This is important because if a coach wants a player to move at a specific rate, they can be sure they exert more energy than they need.
Measures Emery Output
During the rehab process, players often need to be limited in how much energy they exert for the rehab process to go smoothly
If the footballer needs only to run 1 mile during their workout period, this sport bras will track the mileage and how much energy was exerted on the field.
Especially dealing with lower body energy, exertion, and maximum output is a common factor that trainers and physical therapists look for.
During the rehab process, athletes often want to get back on the field as fast as possible.
They will do whatever it takes and push the limit to return to the area.
For example, when Antonio Brown was injured during training camp, we saw that he was only supposed to work 75% on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Players who have a big-time motor and don’t know how to slow down will always exert energy at 100%.
When rehabbing, it’s essential to limit the explosion, so the wound, ligament, or bone has time to heal.
Reasons why soccer players wear bras
So, you should now be relatively aware that soccer players don’t just put on these sport brass for clothing support in a way that women would.
Let’s dive in to see what sort of information these devices can collect and how they inform decision-making within professional soccer clubs.
Tracking performance output
Soccer is a game that has become so much more fitness–centric over the last couple of decades.
Gone are the days when players would head to the pub right after competitive games to down themselves with copious amounts of alcohol.
Emphasis on how much mileage players can cover has become an essential part of how teams operate these days, especially because soccer tactics have evolved to incorporate highly demanding pressing systems that require players to run and run and run.
These sports bras are capable of tracking various performance metrics such as:
- Heart rate;
- Top speed;
- Distance covered; and
- Calories burned
Although the list of data points certainly doesn’t end there!
These metrics are collated as players run on the pitch, and they provide coaches with a much more informed view of how fit and ready players are to compete.
Because professional clubs have the resources to gather lots of data from their scouting departments, they can use these metrics as a baseline to measure and compare how a player’s fitness level stacks up to that of their opponents in competing teams.
Controlling training workload
On a similar note, coaches can use the performance metrics provided by these sports bras to tailor physical workouts for specific players.
For example, a club’s data science department may choose to gather player data for a certain period of time before deciding how heavy of a training workload to allocate.
The sport brass allows coaches to get a well-rounded picture of where individual players are at in their journey.
Such individualization helps isolate areas for improvement and gives them accurate information to be able to decide to take the training intensity up or down a notch based on current performance.
Managing injury rehabilitation
Another aspect where these sport brass really comes in handy is when players are undergoing the process of injury rehabilitation.
If you’ve played soccer even on a basic level you’ll know what it feels like to be missing out on the action due to being hurt.
Professional soccer players have such a high drive to get back on the playing field that they may sometimes jeopardize their own recovery by requesting to return to action earlier than expected.
And this is where these sports bras solve a problem.
Say a player is given a task within a rehabilitation session that involves running a distance of 5 miles.
With the sports bras worn, the pod will record how far they traveled as well as how much energy they exerted to cover that mileage.
And because a major aspect of rehabilitation involves limiting explosive movements so that body parts like bones, ligaments, and tendons can heal naturally, these pieces of equipment are very ideal because they can monitor how hard a player is exerting themself.
Ultimately, this can be a crucial factor in avoiding injury recurrence.
Do soccer players wear sports bras during games?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes!
Clubs like to track the statistical performance metrics of their players during competitive fixtures as well as in training sessions.
Soccer has become such a data-driven sport and clubs will jump at any opportunity to gain a performance advantage over their competitors.
For instance, Leeds United often require their players to wear these pieces of gear, especially because their approach to the game involves covering lots of ground across all areas of the pitch.
Buyer’s guides for sports bras
When it comes to weight, you will probably have a rough idea of which side of the spectrum you should be shooting for.
A sports bra that doesn’t take up too much room and one that is lightweight in nature is much less likely to hinder your performance through discomfort on the football pitch. Find a tracker that is able to fit snugly inside either of your sleeves or under your sports bras.
When it comes to the features of the sports bras and the functionality that it provides, you will want solutions that range from having the bare minimum to those with a multitude of different applications such as tagging and multiplayer modes.
It’s up to you to decide what you want besides the core tracking functionality that the sports bras provide.
Ideally, you’ll want something that comes with the following:
- GPS Module
This fantastic buyer’s guide to athlete tracking systems goes into great detail to explain the aforementioned terms.
This one is pretty obvious.
Shoot for a tracker that is within what you had initially budgeted to spend. We’d only recommend breaking the bank if you feel that the benefits that the GPS sports bras provide are well worth the increased cost.
You will no doubt want to buy sports bras with a good battery life of more than a couple of hours.
There’s no point in purchasing a sports bra that fails to track your footballing performance for more than a couple of games because the battery drained all the way to empty.
It may also perhaps be useful to consider any trackers that provide a battery-saving functionality of some sort, which could prolong its usage even further.
This one is also quite self-explanatory.
The best GPS sports sport brass should have ample room for storing huge amounts of data.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what makes a great GPS sports bra, here is our list of the top picks on the market, in no particular order.
To conclude, The football sports bras that have been reviewed above do a fantastic job of providing accurate performance data that both professional and amateur athletes can use to improve the weaker aspects of their game as well as hone in on their strong points.