Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

The Evolution of GPS Tracker Vests in Soccer

why do soccer players wear

Watching soccer has changed in various ways over the years. While fans have become accustomed to the sudden impact of VAR and rule changes, one aspect that still perplexes many is the sight of soccer players wearing what appears to be sports bras. This phenomenon is no longer limited to female players; male players have also embraced this trend. In this article, we will delve into the world of GPS tracker vests and explain why soccer players wear them.

The Purpose of GPS Tracker Vests

soccer player wearing bra

The first thing to note is that these “bras” are officially called GPS tracker vests. Unlike the traditional sports bra worn by female players, GPS tracker vests serve a different purpose. These vests are designed to track a player’s movement during a match, collecting individualized data on various aspects of their performance.

Data is of utmost importance in modern football. Coaches and managers rely on accurate information to make informed decisions about training, player treatment, and tactics. By using GPS tracker vests, clubs can gather real-time data on a player’s running stats, including distance covered, average speed, acceleration, deceleration, and high-intensity play. This information helps in assessing player fitness, preventing injuries, and tailoring individual training programs.

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How GPS Tracker Vests Work

Jack Harrison of Leeds United with a GPS Vest

These vests function by housing a small GPS device in a pouch at the back. The device is lightweight and inconspicuous, ensuring maximum comfort and freedom of movement for the player. While other options, like embedding trackers in shirt sleeves or wristbands, are available, the vest format remains the most common.

The Data Collected by GPS Tracker Vests

The capabilities of GPS tracker vests are impressive. They provide invaluable insights into a player’s performance. Running stats, such as distance covered, sprinting distance, average acceleration and deceleration time, are essential indicators of a player’s workload and fitness. Additionally, the vests can monitor heart rate, G-force and impact data, and the amount of high-intensity play completed on the field. This comprehensive data aids in injury prevention, player rehabilitation, and setting personalized training loads.

GPS Tracker Vests in Professional Soccer

GPS tracker vests were initially used by elite clubs, but their accessibility and affordability have made them prevalent even in lower leagues. Companies like Catapult, PlayerTek, and StatSport provide wearable tracking technology to clubs worldwide, improving data analysis and player development at all levels.

The Role of Technology in Soccer

why do soccer players wear

The rise of GPS tracker vests reflects the increasing adoption of data-driven strategies in soccer. From set-piece coaching to recruitment, clubs are embracing technology to gain a competitive edge. As the industry continues to evolve, opportunities for individuals interested in sports analytics and data analysis are abundant.


Q: Are GPS tracker vests only used by professional players?
A: No, GPS tracker vests have become more accessible and are used in various leagues, including non-professional levels.

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Q: Can GPS tracker vests prevent injuries?
A: GPS tracker vests provide valuable data on player workload and fitness, aiding in injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Q: Do all professional clubs use GPS tracker vests?
A: Many professional clubs, including top-level teams, utilize GPS tracker vests to improve performance analysis and player development.


GPS tracker vests have revolutionized the way soccer players track their performance. These innovative devices provide detailed insights into player movement and physical exertion, enabling clubs to make informed decisions regarding training, injury prevention, and player development. As technology continues to shape the world of soccer, GPS tracker vests have become an invaluable tool for coaches and players alike.

About The Author: Fred Garratt-Stanley is a freelance football writer, Norwich City fan, and amateur footballer. He has written for various publications, covering a range of topics in football, from tactical ideas to statistical analysis.