Princeton Rowing Making Waves with Firstbeat Sports Technology

Success Story Princeton Rowing

The Princeton Rowing team is one of an increasing number of elite teams using technology to take a proactive approach to training and recovery management, injury reduction and performance enhancement.

During a recent visit, Firstbeat’s John Lally was particularly impressed by the eagerness with which the Princeton’s coaching staff embraced the monitoring data provided by Firstbeat Sports as a tool for challenging their athletes. “They actively incorporated our Training Effect and heart rate data directly into their overall workout goals almost immediately.” Lally explained.

It was also impressive to see how coaches Marty Crotty, Lightweight Men’s and Lori Dauphiny, Open Women’s, were able to utilize the real-time feedback provided by Firstbeat Sports to communicate the desired intensity to individual rowers.

In this video from the Ivy League Digital Network, Princeton Rowing Heavyweight Head Coach Greg Hughes and Assistant Matt Smith discuss how their Ivy League team uses internal load quantification data provided by Firstbeat Sports and external loading from Peach Innovations to build a competitive advantage.

The video also shows how the range and portability of Firstbeat Sports gives the Princeton Rowing team access to real time heart rate monitoring and load feedback even when the team is out on the water.

Princeton Head Coach Greg Hughes, Heavyweight Men’s, on using Firstbeat Sports:

“We’ve been using Firstbeat which is really neat because we can measure it in real time. And the heart rate bands, they give off a radio signal. We can pick up in the motor boat. We can see the training zones the guys are in and monitor how the workout is affecting each individual in the boat.”

“We can track that over the trip, which is very cool because we can see how the workouts are stacking up for guys and how they are recovering and how we need to treat them in workouts to come.”

Meanwhile, the Peach Innovations system allows the staff to monitor a variety of variables like wattage, stroke length, acceleration and velocity of the boat. This allows the team to see how each individual team member is applying their work.

Assistant Coach Matt Smith explains how monitoring data collected during the team’s recent winter training camp in Tampa, FL can be used to enhance training beyond the trip.

“It’s been a really good three weeks since we’ve been back Tampa,” Smith recounts. “The training has been good on land, but more importantly we were able to use a lot of the information we collected with technology back on land. “

“[The trip] was pretty valuable for us because we can collect a lot of data. We can archive it and pull it up throughout our winter training, when we are back on land working on the machines or in the tank as a reference for the guys, so it’s not just a one-off thing. It is for constant development over the winter.”

Coach Smith then explains how technology enhances athlete understanding and maximizes performance for the team. “I think the big thing with this technology is that it is another tool, another way for us to identify the positives for our athletes; to help them understand the opportunities for improvement. Some kids learn really well when the can get that image of how it happens. It has allowed everybody to get better… that one more piece to understanding.“

“How does everybody get as much out of what they’ve got? That’s our focus,” Coach Smith concludes.