TritonWear Analytics Boost ZPC Amersfoort Performance

ZPC Amersfoort at National Relay Championships

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Dutch Treat

Tom Rikhof is an early adapter. Early on the head coach of ZPC Amersfoort, one the Netherlands three major swim clubs next to national affiliated high performance centers Amsterdam (De Dolfijn) and Eindhoven (PSV), saw the merits of embracing the long term tracking benefits of TritonWear’s real time comprehensive data analytics platform.

When first introduced three years ago ZPC Amersfoort bought the TritonWear system. They have since noticed substantial athletic improvement revealed via the tracking information in the system’s 13 different metrics based on swimmer motion.

TritonWear metrics include splits, stroke rates, index and speed, DPS, time in breakouts, turns and underwater. In short, the data recorded in a small unit placed inside a swimmer’s cap, is transmitted immediately to an iPad. This information gives coach and swimmer the ability to track training, diagnose weaknesses and monitor progress. Additionally, motion analysis software syncs video with the power of acceleration and speed data. The resulting frame by frame output clearly indicates which movements help a swimmer gain or lose speed within their strokes and skills.

Pricing is an annual per athlete subscription, ($188USD, volume discounts available) and includes all TritonWear tools plus one free Triton 2 unit.

About Rikhof and ZPC Amersfoort

Founded in 1910, Rikhof’s club AZ&PC became ZPC Amersfoort after a 2015 merger with de Amer. Over the years it has produced numerous junior and senior Dutch and European champions and World Champion medalists. In 2018, the club won the short and long course crowns for the Dutch Junior and Youth Nationals. In November 2017, Jon Urbanchek served as a guest coach. Currently, Amersfoort has nearly 1,000 members, 380 of whom are in the swim program, 380 in water polo, 50 in artistic swimming, 30 in diving and a number of volunteers like the board, referees, judges, etc.

koningsdag amersfoort 2019 ROBIN UTRECHT

ZPC Amersfoort swimmers were the welcoming committee to HRH Queen Maxima of The Netherlands; Photo Courtesy: Robin Utrecht

In April 2018, ZPC Amersfoort transfered to a new home pool. The facility houses a 10 x 50 meter lane pool, a 6 x 25 meter diving well, a weight room, has space for physical therapists and also serves as resident base for the national paralympic swimming team.

Before construction began, Rikhof committed to the TritonWear analytic system rather than the hardwired Mylaps live athletic tracking system scheduled for the facility. He did so convinced of TritonWear’s advanced metrics, its ability to track the swimmers individually and confident he could begin using the system immediately.

“We incorporate the units in every practice,” he says. At first we did so only with certain sets, but currently we utilize the motion analysis option in our technique practices. Initially he equipped just his top squad (20-24 swimmers) with the units. TritonWear’s data collection capability is a huge boon to organization efficiency given that Rikhof is the team’s only paid coach though he does have five primary unpaid assistants and up to 30 other volunteers on deck.

“We have traditionally encouraged our swimmers to count strokes, but, unfortunately, some never do. With the Tritonwear there is no cheating. Our coaches have noticed that any increase in strokes is usually because of inconsistent underwaters or poor stroke mechanics from fatigued swimmers. We like that TritonWear helps athletes focus on stroke mechanics during more intensive endurance,” he says.

ZPC Amersfoort Senior Squad

ZPC Amersfoort Coach Tom Rikhof is confident the use of TritonWear2 gives his swimmers a leg up on other teams.; Photo Courtesy: Tom Rikhof

With the advent of TritonWear 2 in November ZPC Amersfoort equipped 50 of its most elite swimmers with the units. “As a regional leading team we have some swimmers who compete for hometown teams and only do a portion of their practices with us. TritonWear gives our coaches more insight into what these athletes do at their home (or school) swim practices and how they perform there. With the increased data collection we are able to draw more meaningful conclusions.

“The introduction of load monitoring allows us to record elements of all the practices,” Rikhof added. In November, Rikhof and his coaches made a concerted effort to remind athletes to record their RPE (rate of perceived exertion) on their mobile phones.

The coach is confident the use of TritonWear2 will give him a leg up on other teams. He believes the recording of training sets and times lends itself to faster performance.

“The system will lead to more diligent practice behavior too, especially since live lap readings show up on our pool side TV screen. Some of our athletes try to record best metric values on things like strongest wall push-offs or best turn-times. This kind of competition helps everyone to get better,” he says.

Triton Wear 2 coach and swimming analytics

Coaches can display data collected on deck for immediate feedback to swimmers.

Rikhof has noticed that the motion analysis metric introduces more science into the team’s practices. “While the high performance centers have embedded scientists and a lab available for the national teamers, we can get the same level of insights with this feature. Currently we are focusing on faster turns on all strokes. One hope is that we can help our breaststrokers be more consistent with their forward motion when engaging the legs,” he says.

ZPC Amersfoort Junior Squad

Fifty elite swimmers from the team now use the TritonWear units in their daily practices; Photo Courtesy: Tom Rikhof

 

Coach Tom Rikhof

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