The renowned Harlequins rugby team are now using the Samsung GALAXY Note II to own the field, enhancing their sporting performance during training sessions and on match days to help them gain that all-important competitive advantage.
With its powerful quad-core processor and generous 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display the GALAXY Note II brings the power of a tablet to the touchline, while still being able to fit in a pocket, making it the perfect device for the anyone on the move.
Speaking to some of the coaches and players at Harlequins we were able to find out just how useful the Samsung GALAXY Note II is for the team.
Data hungry: perfecting player performance
Harlequins have been recording various parameters of player performance, training and wellbeing for two years, and the team is now using the GALAXY Note II to get the most from this valuable data.
Conor O’Shea, Harlequins’ Head Coach told us why this data is important: “The biggest thing for us is just learning some of the volumes we can get in a week of training.
“We have different turnarounds, we’ll have 6 day, 7 day, 8 day turnarounds and we’ve being collecting and using data for two years now, which allows our team to plan an entire seasons’ training, including the intensity of weeks.
“Coaches are able to access all this data from the GALAXY Note II, meaning that they can then plan their training sessions and know what week we’re on, intensity wise.”
During training sessions Harlequins attach GPS trackers to players’ shirts to monitor performance levels - and the Note II is now helping to get instant data to the coaches.
O’Shea said: “We record a huge amount of data for our coaches to use including volume, meters per second and load, which allows us to measure each player and ensure no one over-trains.
“It’s hugely valuable but we are only scratching the surface of the possibilities available to us with the data and the Samsung GALAXY Note II.
“What we’ll begin to do now is to use live data to monitor the group or individuals and determine if they need more training or if one of the older guys needs to be pulled out.”
Smartphones coaching the coaches
The Samsung GALAXY Note II is supremely versatile, which allows the different Quins coaches to use it in a different way, making it work best for them.
O’Shea added: “Coaches love to be able to go out and look at one technical drill, get the guys around in a group and say ‘you did this, but you should have done this’, and with a GALAXY Note II they are able to show them exactly what they mean.
“Everyone will have different ways of using it most effectively, but at the end of the day coaches want to coach and the Note II helps them do this.”
The team have only been using the GALAXY Note II’s for a few months, but O’Shea can already see the benefits the smartphone is providing to his players and staff.
“We’ve only just started using it and we’re still trying to learn how best to benefit from it. First off it’s all about getting to understand how to use it, but we can already see the impact it will have on our whole group.
“From the coaches out on the pitch to the fitness conditioners, it helps them do what they do, and in the longer term players could fill out their weekly fitness and wellbeing forms on a Note II.
“This would cut the hassle of the process, and with everyone using the same technology they will have no excuse not to fill them out” – busted, guys!
The visual aids the GALAXY Note II can provide out on the training ground allows O’Shea and his team of coaches to easily explain what they expect from the players, visually explaining where they are going wrong, and what needs to be improved.
“It’s very difficult to say ‘you have to do this’, especially as we don’t have one way of doing it, but potentially the Note II could do this, and make everything we do better.”
O’Shea concludes: “As a tool the GALAXY Note II will be a massive, massive benefit and we want our coaches and players to be on top, and will I might be IT illiterate I know the benefit of this for the team in terms of our performance and this is why we’re massively into it.”
Players have a play
Although mainly used by the coaching staff at the moment, a few key players in the Harlequins team are also reaping the rewards the Samsung GALAXY Note II has to offer.
We spoke to Quins’ second row George Robson, who had recently returned from a tour with England, to find out how the GALAXY Note II was helping him discuss tactics with teammates and keep everyone up to date on the next opposition.
“Because of the position I play in the team I make a lot of the calls during the match, most of which are based on analysis done prior to the game,” explained Robson.
“I get all my analysis and match previews sent over each week via Dropbox, which works really well with the GALAXY Note II.
“It’s easy to use, really clear and means I don’t need to be at home in front of the laptop to see all the latest news and watch the insight videos.
“The S Pen is also really good, especially when I’m talking to the other guys about tactics I can highlight certain aspects and the large screen makes it really easy to draw, while still being small enough to carry around.
“It’s also the best thing I’ve used for recognising my writing. I’ve struggled to write on other devices, but the GALAXY Note II picks up my handwriting really well.”
Overall, while the GALAXY Note II’s integration with the teams’ tactics and training may still be in its infancy, it’s clear that Harlequins can already see the potential Samsung’s smartphone can provide, with real benefits coming to the fore after just couple of months’ use.
Also check out on Your Mobile Life: