Team sport is a popular recreational activity that provides a unique context for developing a variety of social skills (Smith, Mellano, & Ullrich-French, 2019). It is estimated that 47 million youth in the United States and Canada participate in team sports. This is due in part to the belief that participating in team sport can contribute to a number of desirable long-term outcomes including improved social skills, leadership abilities and a more positive attitude towards exercise.
In addition, team sport provides a context for athletes to acquire a range of physical and skill-related competencies. These competencies can contribute to a number of long-term positive outcomes such as greater life satisfaction, health and well-being, and higher levels of education (Smith, Mellano, & McEwan, 2019).
Group norms play a key role in influencing individual athlete behavior in the context of team sport. Norms reflect existing values that are expected of members of a group and represent one of the most potent sources of social influence within sport teams (Carron & Eys, 2012).
There are many reasons why individuals choose to participate in team sports, but most people believe that the experience will enhance their lives. It is also believed that team sport provides a valuable setting for developing a range of important social skills such as communication, leadership and cooperation.
Despite the benefits of participation in team sport, there are a number of challenges for coaches and managers to ensure that they provide a positive environment for youth to develop these skills. These include aligning organizational culture, group dynamics and individual development.
Tracking systems can be used to quantify training and competition characteristics in a wide variety of sports, but practitioners must select the appropriate metrics and apply a critical process to identify those that are most relevant to their specific sport context. This narrative review summarises and critically evaluates the different tracking systems that are currently available, whilst highlighting some key considerations that practitioners should consider when selecting a system and corresponding metrics to profile team sport athletes.
Athletes often execute periods of high-intensity running and skilled output that are significantly different from an averaged total game or a percentage of time spent performing high-intensity running . These period changes are difficult to detect via aggregate parameters, such as total distance covered or peak demands, and require moving minute intervals to accurately identify changes on a per-second basis.
As a result, sport scientists are encouraged to use relative rather than absolute values when profiling team sport athletes. Relative distances and time series segmentation have been utilised to detect segments of physical output during training and matches in Australian football, ice hockey and English Premier League matches, as well as to predict team success in these sports based on individual players’ performances .
While there are many advantages to the use of tracking systems, such as the ability to quantify a variety of training and competition characteristics and to monitor an athlete’s progression through a training cycle, they can also be susceptible to misinterpretation by practitioners. As a result, it is essential that the data selection and analysis processes are transparent to both the practitioner and athlete, in order for the data to be meaningful.