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C-N soccer to utilize GPSports vests

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C-N's soccer teams will be one of the first three American institutions to partner with GPSports to better train C-N athletes.

C-N's soccer teams will be one of the first three American institutions to partner with GPSports to better train C-N athletes.

Carson-Newman's soccer teams will be one of the first three American institutions to partner with GPSports– a biometrics and GPS-based technology that will enable Carson-Newman soccer's coaching staff to better train its athletes.

Carson-Newman joins the Atlanta Falcons and Baylor Bears as the first American users of the product. The software is popular among European soccer clubs such as AC Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea.

"We'll be able to monitor how hard our athletes are working in games and in practice sessions," Carson-Newman director of soccer Richard Moodie said. "I'd like to think that we'll be able to maximize our athletes' potential based on this technology."

The systems tracks how fast players are moving, their heart rate, how often they are resting as well as factoring in the weather and other variables.

"One of the things that we failed at last year was our fitness level." Moodie said. "We gave up so many games late last year. There were times even in the preseason that we felt we were pushing guys too hard. But now we'll be able to watch data and tell with that hard data if we are pushing an athlete too hard, or not pushing them hard enough."

The systems come in a vest that can be worn above or below jerseys. A heart rate monitor circles the lower elastic band of the best that goes around the chest, while a GPS tracker the size of a small TV remote is tucked into a pouch on the back of the vests.

Data is accumulated for as long as the user desires before being uploaded to a software system on computer.

"It's not a bragging right to be first," Moodie said. "But this is an opportunity to get the best out of our student athletes. We want to operate as professionally as we can, that we can recruit great players and make them great by maximizing the potential of our athletes."

Moodie said they've run some trials on the system and expect to fully implement it once players are back on campus in the fall.

– C-N's Sports Information Office

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