Determining the DNA of football

Determining the DNA of football

At the Feyenoord Academy with Rick Cost

With a masters in human movement sciences and 20 years of experience as a physiotherapist working with top professional athletes, Rick Cost knows what he is talking about. In different sports areas and different roles he periodized (physical) programs for national and international competitions and the Olympics. His motto “Nothing is impossible for those who want to reach the top” sounds promising…

Measure and periodise workload

After he was part of the Olympic Field Hockey squad for both men and women, Cost started at the Feyenoord Academy in September 2016 as coordinator of Physical training. He is responsible for the physical development from the under 7’s to the under 19’s. He explains: “The main goal at the Feyenoord Academy is to create a new physical benchmark so that all players become better football players. This role gives me the chance to combine physical training elements and football, and instead of separating those two elements, use game intensity to periodize physical fitness. In the end it is all about playing football, not about lifting a hundred kilograms. JOHAN helps me to find the ‘DNA of Football’ by providing the parameters that are representative of the external workload during a football game. If we know what the physical demands are during a ‘worst case scenario game’, it is possible to use this information to train towards this scenario. We use JOHAN every training to compare the external load during training with the external load during the game. When we reach the right portion of workload during the training we can periodize the workload easily and individually per player and his position on the field”.

Difference with Field Hockey

Feyenoord Academy Determining the DNA of footballIt is not the first time Cost works with JOHAN; during his time at the Dutch Hockey Union, he used the system as well. Cost says there are no huge differences in working with GPS for hockey or football:  “the hockey game is a lot faster and the external workload per minute is a lot higher, but the football game is longer and has more collisions. JOHAN has helped me to find the right parameters for both sports. With the knowledge we collected by tracking both sports, the transfer from hockey to football was not that big. We do look for new and better parameters every single day to keep improving the quality of training, but the essential idea of training is the same in both cases. However, we have a lot more time at Feyenoord to invest in better training programs”.

Comparison to other GPS Systems

Being a real GPS expert, Rick Cost also worked with another tracking system; Catapult Sports. While both tracking companies pursue the same goal, there are some differences. Rick Cost tells: “the main difference is that with JOHAN we can personalize our own output from the system. Whenever there is an issue, the specialists at JOHAN are always available for direct support. The company is not yet that big, so we are in close contact with the same specialist every single time we need to. Catapult is further in development, however that does not come without a price. With JOHAN you do not have any limitations in doing measurements, however fine tuning on certain aspects takes time. This is definitely not a bad thing, because it helps us to create a completely personalised GPS system which complements our wishes. The main reason I chose to work with JOHAN at the Feyenoord Academy, is that the price to functionality ratio is really good. Next to that, I have had a lot of conversations during the start up of JOHAN with the founders to discuss my wishes and ideas about tracking external loads. The combination of a personalised tracking system with professional assistance made JOHAN the ideal partner for the Feyenoord Academy”.

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Our partners

We are very thankful to our supporting partners. JOHAN ist part of the European Space Agency (ESA)Business Incubation Program in Noordwijk and JOHAN is supported by the European GNSS Agency (CGA).