Sharks on the cutting edge with 'Firstbeat'

September 27, 2011, 9:02 pm
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No surprise, the San Jose Sharks are again on the cutting edge of technology with their players. This training camp, the team has employed use of a new system called Firstbeat," which precisely measures the heart rate of the players, in real-time, as they participate in practice.You can catalog it over time, to see work levels over time, Sharks strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Potenza told me. Whether theyre dropping off, or improving, or if you want to track something through the year to see the fitness level of your guys.
The benefits of measuring heart rate are multiple. First, it gives trainers a good indication as to which players are recovering from exertion best. It also gives coaches good insight as to situations where the team might be over-training, or not training enough. What is Potenza ultimately looking for? You want to see that they can recover from whatever heart rate they achieve, the sooner the better. So that they can sustain energy for a longer period of time, and be ready for that next bout of a shift, with the ability to output.Firstbeat came to the team this summer, and will be used for the rest of Sharks training camp, in addition to the rest of practices in the regular season. Potenza says players can use the system during games in the regular season, but initially wont. Thats because they arent quite ready enough to wear the over-chest sensors in actual competitive situations.