Apple recently shared how the Apple Watch Workout app helps Australia’s national swim team improve its performance and training sessions. As for the iPad, the swim team coaches use it for monitoring individual swimmers’ training logs to more efficiently coach them in becoming better and faster swimmers.
Apple Watch Workout App and iPad Help Swim Team Improve Performance
In a press release, Apple said that Australia’s national swim team, the Dolphins, has been using Apple Watch, iPad and various apps. It has helped the team members improve their performance outcomes, propelling the team to its most successful period in history. Coaches used the Apple Watch sensors and activity-tracking features to monitor players’ overall health and performance. Together with the iPad, this helped the coaches analyze real-time data about their athletes. The Apple Watch, iPad and relevant apps, including the native Workout app, provide useful metrics during training sessions.
Jess Corones, Swimming Australia’s performance solutions manager, commented on how technology helps them in training and competition.
Data is the key ingredient when it comes to designing performance outcomes for our athletes. We have seen increased engagement from athletes wearing Apple Watch, which gives us more data points to inform analysis and make coaching decisions. iPad has become an essential coaching tool because it allows us to access athlete health data and race footage instantly from anywhere.
Zac Stubblety-Cook, world record holder and gold medalist swimmer attested to the importance of the Apple Watch in his training. It gives him instantaneous feedback throughout the day. This helped him better manage his training load and recovery. Hence, he arrives at competitions more prepared.
As an elite athlete, it’s important for me to access heart rate and activity data in real-time so I can make quick adjustments and avoid overtraining. Being able to accurately measure my heart rate in between sets has been a really valuable data point for me and my coach to understand how well I’m responding to training.
Apple Watch Gyroscope and Accelerometer Are Useful in Training
For those unfamiliar, the Apple Watch uses its gyroscope and accelerometer to count laps, track average lap pace, and auto-detect stroke type. The Watch uses this data to measure your active kilojoules burned. The athletes can also set the pool length and then the Apple Watch will automatically measure splits and auto sets. In open water training sessions, the Apple Watch uses its built-in GPS and accelerometer to accurately determine the swimmer’s route and distance.
Useful as it is right now, Apple also noted upcoming new features of watchOS 9 that could be useful for swimmers. The new OS will bring in kickboard detection as a stroke type for pool swim workouts. The Apple Watch will be able to detect when users are swimming with a kickboard. Users will also be able to track their efficiency with a SWOLF score. This simply means stroke count combined with the time, in seconds, it takes to swim one length of the pool.
The iPad Helps Coaches Better Manage Their Players
Aside from the Apple Watch, the Australian Swimming Team coaches also find the iPad useful in their coaching tasks. With the use of the Locker app which the team themselves developed, coaches can make coaching decisions faster. Corones pointed out that the iPad allows coaches to view race footage, analyze data and provide feedback to athletes.
Most athletes are visual learners, and it’s incredibly powerful being able to show an athlete what we’re asking them to do while they’re engaged during a training session. Quick decision-making is crucial in the lead-up to big competitions to ensure we are maximizing the team’s performance. Ultimately, this technology gives us the tools to design performance programs that help our athletes swim faster in the pool so they can win more medals.