Modern data science will help Luke Shaw make impact at Euros – sports scientist

Modern Data Science Will Help Luke Shaw Make Impact At Euros – Sports Scientist
Luke Shaw kicks a ball in training, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Jonathan Veal, PA

Use of data and artificial intelligence will help Luke Shaw’s chances of being fully fit for the European Championship, a leading sports scientist has said.

Shaw was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the summer tournament in Germany despite being out since February with a hamstring injury.


He has returned to training in the last few days and it remains to be seen whether he will be involved in Sunday’s opening group game against Serbia.

While David Beckham and Wayne Rooney struggled to perform after races to be fit for competitions in the past, sports scientist Stephen Smith believes advancements in technology will allow a smoother ride for Shaw.

“Beckham in 2002 and Rooney in 2006 both had non-contact metatarsal injuries which will have restricted their ability to build and maintain aerobic capacity as well as technical proficiency,” Smith, who is the CEO of Kitman Labs, the world’s leading sports science and performance intelligence company, working with the FA, Premier League, NFL and NBA, told the PA news agency.


“With Luke Shaw, it’s a different type of injury and the data and science has evolved.

“The performance team will use data science techniques now, that weren’t available previously, and they will have more confidence in their understanding to guide and put a plan in place for him to return to action and reduce the potential for any other injury-related issues to arise.

“He’s missed a lot of game time over the last season, it may take time for him to get back to his best level, however the performance staff will be working hard behind the scenes to expose Shaw to as close to match intensity as possible through training drills.



“If he’s fit to play a part in the tournament, he will unlikely be asked to play 90 minutes on his first game back, realistically he will take a few games to build back up to full fitness.

“However, this is dependent on the staff’s strategy with Shaw and how ready the staff perceive Shaw to be currently, using objective data measures, for the intensity of tournament football.

“My expectation though is that if Gareth (Southgate) has included him in the squad, then he is doing that for a very particular reason.

“The quality of the team that Gareth has assembled in performance and medicine is exceptional, increasing Luke’s chances of playing at the highest level.

“The staff will have a comprehensive and detailed strategy that they’re going to put in place, and with a player of that calibre, they will have taken all the right steps to ensure he is more than capable of performing at the level expected.”

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