If you've watched much professional football, you might have seen the players wearing odd, super tight vests beneath their shirts. These vests contain tiny tracking devices, that enable their coaches to harvest a wealth of data around each player's performance.
Have you ever wanted to know how fast you run during a football match? How many sprints you made, how hard you worked and what your heatmap (areas of the pitch where you spent the most time) looks like?
Then the new tracking system 'Playr' might just be for you.
Billed as tool to help players improve their performance, Playr, a GPS tracking system from Catapult Sports, is similar to devices used by professional football clubs to measure their own players' work.
A small GPS device sits in a vest which is worn by the player as he or she trains or plays a match, and the data can be viewed on a smartphone later using the company's intuitive app.
It's simple to set up and use. Say what you like about Apple, you can't deny that they've changed the way technology is packaged forever. Gone are the days when a plain cardboard box was considered adequate, now every unboxing experience must be a joy, and the Playr system is no different.
Arriving in a sleek black box complete with funky football pitch markings inside, there's the GPS tracking tool itself, a wireless charger, and the lightweight vest in which the tracker sits as you strut your stuff on the pitch.
The app takes moments to download and requires no instructions, it really is all very plug and play.
So plug and play we did during a chilly evening in Catford, but did we learn anything useful?
We used the device during a 5-a-side match, and despite our doubts that the system would cope with the smaller pitch size, there were no issues. We experienced the expected ribbing from teammates for wearing a pro-level device. They were probably just jealous.
After the game we removed the tracker from the vest (harder than it sounds), popped it onto its charger, then booted up the app. It connects to the phone via bluetooth, but in this instance failed to show that anything had been captured at all until we performed a firmware update. As soon as this was done though, there the data was in all its glory.
It starts with a helicopter view of the area in which the match took place, inviting the user to adjust the screen so that the pitch overlay fits the pitch in real life. It was almost scarily accurate.
A breakdown of our running over five minute intervals was slightly marred by the system registering the opening minutes when we were waiting for the match to begin, and a period spent in goal towards the end.
However, the revelation that our hardest running happened in the first few minutes and wasn't repeated to the same degree was simultaneously interesting and chastening.
We found that we had reached a top speed of 8.5 metres per second, or 19 mph, which seems reasonable given the smaller pitch size (and our advanced years). We covered a distance of 3.72km which again seems about right for a 5-a-side game, with some of that time spent in goal.
The heatmap showed the expected density of movement around midfield and defensive areas, but we were interested to note a tendancy to favour the right side of the pitch. The 'dots' showing extensive periods on one spot are likely to be during breaks in the game, or time spent in goal.
Rather damningly the app suggested that our workload was 'low', and advised us to schedule a more intensive training session over the next few days, suggesting a few pitch-based exercises to try.
As someone in their mid-forties whose football career is, shall we say, winding down, the system is fun to use but unlikely to incite us to change much.
However, for younger, more ambitious players looking to learn more about their own game and step up a level, there's some valuable insight to be had here.
Warming was most pronounced in Siberia region
The tank will be subjected to high stresses and loads via dozens of hydraulic cylinders during testing
'Sunlit wet sidewalk' provides evidence of methane rainfall on the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan
Methane rainfall indicates the start of the summer season in Titan's northern hemisphere
Scientists believe there could be other hydrides or superhydrides with super conducting properties