Sometimes when you watch soccer, you notice a few wacky things that seem out of place. One of those things is that strange-looking sports bra that soccer players wear. By this, I mean the clothing that looks like a sports bra that men’s soccer players wear.
But is it really a bra or could it actually be something else?
Male soccer players don’t wear sports bras. The clothing that they wear around their chest that looks like a sports bra is not actually a bra but an athletic vest fitted with a GPS tracker. The technology incorporated within this vest tracks a soccer player’s vital stats throughout a game.
In this article, I want to share with you everything you need to know about the GPS tracker vests that soccer players wear under their jerseys. There is a lot more to them than first meets the eye, and they have a vast range of capabilities that allows the players to improve their performance in almost every way.
If you’re interested in discovering the two best soccer GPS tracker vests currently on the market, click here to go straight to my review of your options.
What do Soccer Players Wear Around Their Chest?
As I’ve described, the bra-like clothing that male soccer players wear is not actually a bra but rather a GPS tracking device.
Let’s go into a little bit more detail about them.
It may look like a sports bra, but in reality, the vest soccer players wear is fitted with cutting-edge technology. This technology is used to monitor every detail of a player’s performance while training and during games. To assess a player’s performance is the main reason soccer players wear this vest.
The athletic vest helps the head coach and coaching staff track a player’s performance in training accurately.
It removes the guesswork that coaches relied on in the past and gives clear and accurate data. Although players mostly use these vests on the training field, you will sometimes see players wearing them during a soccer game.
Why Do They Look Like Bras?
The companies that initially designed these athletic vests created them to look like sports bras for entirely practical reasons.
Firstly, they needed somewhere to attach the GPS tracking device to a player that would not get in the way of their performance or restrict their movement.
They decided that the ideal place for this would be on player’s back between the shoulder blades.
To keep the GPS tracker in position, it needed to be securely attached to the player.
To achieve this, the creators decided that the soccer players should wear an item of clothing resembling a sports bra with a small pocket on the back where the GPS pod could be placed.
This would ensure that it would remain securely attached to the player at all times while not interfering with the player’s performance in any significant way.
To give you an idea of the GPS pod’s size, it is roughly the size of an adult’s hand.
Have a look at this video below to give you a more in-depth view of a GPS tracker vest.
Do Soccer Players Wear A GPS Tracker In Games?
If you have ever watched an intense soccer game, you have probably seen a few of the players take their jerseys off when they score or after the game.
When they do this, you may have noticed that some of them have the tracking vests on, and some don’t.
Players wear the tracking vest in almost all training sessions. However, players do not use the vest all the time during games.
There is a very good reason for this.
The reason is that the coaches may require that individual players wear the vest during a game if they need to track something important.
Further down in the article, we will look at a few examples of how exactly the tracking vest is used. But for now, we can simply say that if a player shows signs of change in performance, the coaching staff might require him to wear a vest during a game to track their performance in real-time.
This data will give them an accurate picture of how the player is performing.
The Four Stats a Soccer GPS Vest Tracks
Now that we know what the tracking vest is, we can look at what it does exactly.
In this section, I want to talk about 4 of the most important things that the tracking vest does and give you some examples of it being used.
The GPS tracking vest tracks a player’s vitals. Stats such as their top speed, acceleration, work rate, and much more are all collected and displayed through the use of the vest.
We need to look at each of these in more detail. So, let’s jump straight into it.
1. Heart Rate
The heart rate of a player while they are playing is one of the most important vital signs to monitor.
The heart rate indicates how hard a player is working and shows the periods of play they have to put in the most work. [source]
Take a player like Kylian Mbappe. He is often the star player for the French team, PSG.
Let’s say that after a game, his vitals were showing signs of fatigue that are greater than usual. With this info, the coaching staff might structure his next training session to focus less on cardio and more on shooting for Mbappe specifically.
The coach may do this so that Mbappe can rest enough for the next game, where the coaching team will again monitor his vitals.
Another capability of the tracking GPS inside the vest is to monitor the player’s top speed. This ability is excellent for several reasons.
If you take a look at a player like Jamie Vardy, who plays for Leicester City in England, you’ll see that he is a fast player. But he has the potential to be even faster.
The coaching staff can use the data they receive from the athletic vest to create training sessions that cater to him working on improving his top speed.
When he goes back out onto the field after those training sessions, they can use that data to determine whether he is improving.
Some players have incredibly fast acceleration.
This is especially important for players who play as a left-winger or right-winger. In fact, check out my post – Best Soccer Position for Fast Players – to find out why a winger is a perfect position for any player with great acceleration.
Fast players are tasked with moving the ball around the soccer field at speed. They also do a lot of overlapping runs where they need to push past a defense.
Let’s look at a player who had incredibly fast acceleration but suffered an injury. This player is Hector Bellerin of Arsenal.
The coaching staff, medical team, and manager will have worked night and day to get their right back player up to speed. (Pun intended!).
In this situation, the vest is particularly important because it gives an accurate reading of whether or not the specific player is improving.
It also provides the coaching staff with an idea of whether or not the player is likely to make a full recovery.
4. Distance Covered
Have you ever wondered how a commentator can so easily give you information such as how much a player has run while the game is still going on? Well, this is in part thanks to the athletic vest.
The vest has a very accurate tracking device within it that relies entirely on GPS.
When this information is used in real-time, it doesn’t only help commentators give you useful stats about the game. It also helps the coach to understand what is happening on the field more accurately.
As an example of using it to improve a player’s performance, you can look at the central attacking midfield position.
Players who play in this position are often the most creative players on the pitch. They play a crucial role in the build-up of attacks.
With that said, they also get accused of having lousy work rates.
While a player can fix a low work rate with a change of mentality, having the data helps the coaching staff better explain to the player what he needs to do. The data also shows what the player is currently doing wrong and how they can change it.
In conclusion, we can say that the athletic vest that the players wear is there to help the player and the entire club.
At first glance, it may look like a sports bra, but it is actually a highly developed piece of equipment designed to give players and coaches accurate data regarding the player’s performance.
It is important to remember that soccer players, especially in big clubs, are seen as assets. The vest is there to ensure that the club is getting the most out of the players. If there is room for improvement, the vest will highlight this and track the player’s progress moving forward.
If you want to get hold of one of these vests for yourself, you can order one here on Amazon and begin accurately assessing your own performance in no time at all.
If you’re unsure what GPS tracking vest to get, find out my recommendations here.
And if you want to see your soccer fitness increase dramatically over just one month, then click here to check out my 30-Day Soccer Fitness Guide.
In it, you will find a clear step-by-step 30 day fitness program that will help you achieve your potential out on the soccer field.
Don’t miss out on being the best you can be!