GT Football Catapult

Picture a football player coming back from a torn knee ligament. To judge whether he’s ready to get back on the field, the standard evaluation might entail a medical examination and testing, observing a player in practice and in specific drills to test the stability of the knee and asking for the player’s input.

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins now has one more technological method in his quiver that can offer useful feedback – wearable GPS devices that can measure how fast a player is running, how often and quickly he is changing direction, accelerating, decelerating and a multitude of other actions. “If you take one of those guys and you go and you look at the numbers, (and) he’s doing 20 high-speed change of directions to the left but he’s only doing two high-speed change of directions to the right, that leg isn’t strong enough yet to be able to plan and accelerate, or he doesn’t have confidence in it,” said Ryan Horton, Tech’s director of applied sports science, a new position created by Collins. “Either way, that guy’s not ready to be back in live action yet.”

It’s only one usage of the Catapult system that the athletic department has purchased for Collins’ team…

BONUS:  GT Football's applied sports science director Ryan Horton discusses use of Catapult (1:45)