If smart soccer trackers are new to you. Here’s a quick breakdown of what this device is and what promises to deliver.
The Playermaker Uno is a wearable smart soccer tracker that is worn on your feet. It straps around your soccer shoes with three rubber straps that hold the device. Essentially making a “smart soccer shoe.” The trackers can then be synced with your phone after your game or training session. This gives you soccer-specific data about how you performed.
A Fun Smart Soccer Tracker With Lots of Data… But Only When They Work
I’ve read several other reviews about the Playermaker Uno, and most of them have been very positive. I, unfortunately, have not had the best experience with them.
I’m starting the review with the negatives because I have definitely had a less-than-satisfactory experience with the Playermaker Uno sensors. I’m a total data nerd, so I was excited to track my own games and training sessions. In theory, I love them, but in reality, they have just not lived up to what has been advertised.
If you read the full article or jump to the part below that talks about the Playermaker capabilities, you can see what you will hopefully get if you use them.
My Journey with Playermaker Soccer Trackers
I bought mine at the end of December 2021, so maybe new runs of the hardware are better, but I don’t know. Yes, I did buy them. My trackers were not a review unit sent from the company.
I also waited a long time to do this review because I was still hoping with the next software update, they would work better.
For me, the smart sensors have been very finicky. They often don’t track the entire session or throw an error and just don’t deliver on what they promise.
On What Playing Surfaces Can You Use Playermaker Soccer Tracker?
Other reviews have mentioned that the tracker can be used on any surface or shoe. This is just not the case. On the Playermaker website, it says, “You can wear your Playermaker kit with artificial turf shoes when playing on any of the following surfaces: artificial turf, gym floor, concrete, or grass.”
But who wears artificial turf shoes on gym floors or concrete? I think most gyms probably won’t let you.
In reality, you can only use them with cleats or turf shoes with larger turf nubs. The straps that hold the tracking devices are equipped with three straps. One that goes around the back of the foot above the heel, another that goes over the laces where you tie them.
The third strap goes under the foot. This is the one that causes the issues.
I used them on a gym floor, and they kept slipping and moving around because it was in direct contact with the floor.
Can the Playermaker Uno be used indoors?
I often play at a large indoor facility. I also wear a Garmin Vivoactive 3, which connects to GPS satellites. With the smartwatch, I can track my training sessions and games. I’ve been very frustrated with the Playermaker Uno because it only connects sporadically and makes them almost unusable.
The weird thing is that they say the Playermaker Uno doesn’t use GPS but uses other technology, including “Distance Driven Data.” So, I find it very puzzling that, for me, it only worked sporadically in the indoor facility and the gym, where I have tried it many times.
Sooo… Where Can I Actually Use The Playermaker Tracker?
We have eliminated indoors and hard surfaces. What’s left is outdoors and natural grass or turf surfaces that support full cleats.
Picture Perfect Position and Full Battery Charge Is A Must
I’ve also had issues with the positioning of the devices on the shoe. I have many times put them on precisely as the video in the Playermaker app, but in the end, they did not record the session. When trying to sink, I received the error, “Incorrect mounting” This is very frustrating because they appear to be positioned properly.
Another challenge I’ve had is sometimes the sensors will show a charge of 90% or more in the app, but then they won’t track with an error message that says they don’t have enough charge.
What Does the Playermaker Smart Sensor Track?
When they work, the sensors and the data they provide are excellent! Let me explain what you should be getting.
If you have watched professional soccer, you may have seen players wearing what looks like a sports bra with a bump on the back. These are smart wearable trackers.
They are typically coupled with an expensive complete system so they can track every movement of the players as well as their health data. Things like speed, number of sprints, where they were on the field, heart rate, and more. With this data, coaches get a better understanding of how their players are performing. Their fitness levels and involvement in the game.
More Than a Smart Watch
At the amateur level, many players have started wearing smartwatches to track some of this data. In particular, I use a Garmin Vivoactive 3. With my Garmin, I can track things like:
- Heart Rate
- Steps per minute
- As well as a map with the path I ran
This is more fit for running, not specifically soccer. But fun data nonetheless.
The Playermaker is specific for soccer. It straps onto your shoe/foot and tracks your movements. They are made of hard silicon plastic that is durable and tough. This means you can use them in any weather conditions in any season.
Show Me The Data!
Playermakers track some of the same data a smartwatch does, but also data that is more relevant for soccer player performance. They have now released a new version of the hardware, CITYPLAY kit. It is more expensive and offers more data points. The list below is for the normal Playermaker kit:
- Ball Releases
- Playing Tempo
- Short Possessions
- Long Possessions
- Technical Balance (How much you use each foot)
- Received the ball
- Released the ball
- Max kicking velocity for each foot
- Distance Covered
- Sprint Distance
- Top Speed
If they can figure out a way to add heart rate and map where you run on the pitch, that would be awesome too!
Data Rules Modern Soccer
The data you can get from the soccer tracking system is very useful and fun. If you are training seriously, it can help you see your progress. As a coach, it is an invaluable tool to see how your players are developing in terms of technical soccer and fitness. If you’re playing just for fun, you can use the tracker data for bragging rights or help you realize you really do need to “get in better shape.” Lol!
The main thing I hope you get out of his review is that the Playermaker Uno Soccer Trackers can be a great tool, but be aware they may not work as perfectly as you may hope.