As he strolls around the team hotel, staring into his smartphone, Australia pacer Billy Stanlake might be perceived as taking a break from his cricketing duties. In fact, he might be paying more attention than ever before.
Standing 6 foot 8 inches tall and capable of generating genuine pace and steepling bounce, Stanlake is one of the players to watch out for in the current Australian U-19 squad. The 18-year-old, however, has been limited by ankle and groin injuries over the past couple of years. Indeed Stanlake isn't unlike a number of young Australian fast bowlers who have been laid low by recurring injuries recently.
Even as he gets back to full strength, Stanlake remains under close observation by his coaches, physios, nutritionists and doctors who try to manage his workload to sustainable levels. Their job is made easier by a mobile phone app used by Stanlake and every member of the Australian contingent.
The app named GER-350 is deceptively simple. After his training every day, Stanlake answers a few simple multiple choice questions which is used to get an idea of his workload and wellness. He answers whether he has trained, how many deliveries he has bowled, and his rate of perceived exertion.
He also makes entries for his weight training and cardio sessions. He then answers queries related to fatigue, muscle soreness, stress and sleep. The entire process seems tedious but actually takes about a minute to finish. "It is so quick that it isn't a headache for players to fill out," says Brian McFadyen manager of the Australian squad and information manager at the team performance unit of Cricket Australia.
For entire set-up
The app on Stanlakes' phone is used across age levels, and mandatory for players with a senior Australia contract as well as participants in the Sheffield Shield. After Stanlake is through with his entries, the data received is analysed and pored over by support staff. "All the data goes into the Australian management system (AMS) and can be accessed in realtime by coaches, sports scientists," says McFadyen.
For a bowler who is particularly prone to injuries such