Monitoring and creating training sessions and Quick Recovery Tests (QRT) are the main features of the Firstbeat Sports Monitor (Sports Monitor) software. Reports from training and feedback from the QRT give important information to the coach about the athletes' training load and recovery status. So it is important to ensure that the recording is successful.
Here are some tips on how to make sure that the Sports Monitor session recording goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Adjust the computer's power and sleep mode settings
Before starting any measurements go to the computer's power and sleep settings. Adjust the settings so that the computer DOES NOT go into sleep mode or power off the display during the session. Going into sleep mode can cause various problems such as losing connection to the receiver which causes the receiver to lose the connection to the belts. This can cause various problems: The recording might not continue after returning from sleep mode and the session needs to be stopped and restarted. There can long periods of missing heart rate data, extra-long measurement duration, and, the worst-case scenario, the whole measurement is lost with no chance of getting the reports.
So make sure that the computer does not go into sleep mode!
2. Ensure sufficient computer battery charge
The computer's battery running empty has similar effects to going into sleep mode. You are likely to lose the whole recording because the session was not ended normally. So, before starting the measurement charge the computer battery to full strength, or keep the computer charging during the recording. Especially when using the computer in an ice rink or outside in cool temperatures, it's good to keep the power adapter connected.
3. Start the session with the belts near the receiver
Before starting the session wait until all the belts have been detected. The athletes can be called near the receiver to ensure that every belt is found, and then paired to a correct athlete profile. Make sure that the session is started so that the belts are within the receiver range.
4. Keep the players within the range of the receiver
The range for the Firstbeat Team Receiver 100 is approximately 200 meters (218 yards). The best measurement quality can be established when the athletes stay within the range during the whole measurement. With Firstbeat's plastic heart rate belts, the athletes need to stay within the range for the whole recording, but with the textile belts, which have the memory recording feature, some short periods outside the range shouldn't cause any big issues.
5. Check the Team Receiver antenna and the USB cable
It would be good practice to check the antenna and the USB cable before and after each session. If there is any damage to these two parts, it could cause a problem with detecting the belts or with the data quality. So, check that the antenna connector is intact: EU version has a little pin in the connector, and the US version should not have a pin (applies to the receiver model RTX4). Check the cable's USB connector too. It should not be bent or rusted, and the blue waterproof cap for fastening the cable to the receiver should not have cracks or any other damage.
If you notice damage in these parts, you can contact your Firstbeat Sports Sales reps or Firstbeat Support. The damaged parts need to be replaced.
6. Check and clean the heart rate belts and elastic straps regularly
In order to ensure a good recording, the heart rate belts and their elastic straps need to be checked and washed regularly. Check the plastic parts for any damages (cracks, rust, etc.), change the batteries carefully, and wipe them dry with a clean cloth after every use. The textile belts' modules can't be immersed in water, so use only a clean and damp cloth to remove smudges and sweat. The plastic heart-rate belts can be rinsed with running water, but be sure to dry them correctly after the wash.
The elastic straps are all machine-washable. They can be washed at 40 degrees inside a washing bag, with similar colors, and no tumble-drying. Don't use fabric softener. The elastic straps should be rinsed after each use and machine-washed after 7 uses. Check that the elastic straps are clean and don't have damage before starting the recording. If the straps have lost some of their elasticity, the belt may not stay in place. If you need extra straps, contact your local Firstbeat Sports Sales rep.
7. Give the Monitor some peace during recording
When the session is running, try not to make any changes to the computer, or use other software. It's best to give the Sports Monitor some peace while recording to ensure that all the players are monitored correctly and the session is recorded successfully.
For example, if you want to view the Monitor on another display, or you need to adjust the power and sleep settings, make the changes before starting the recording. Some computer changes may require a restart and that will cause the Monitor session to stop recording.
8. End session with the belts inside the receiver range and the computer online
When the Sports Monitor session is about to end, bring all athletes near the receiver and click the End session button. This ensures that the belts stop recording, and they send the whole data to the Sports Monitor.
Don't close the lid of the laptop, or power off until the measurement recordings have stopped and you have saved the session, with all its notes and details. And don't unplug the receiver until the session is saved. If your computer has gone offline during the session, you can still save it, but the measurements are not sent to the server until the computer is back online. In this instance, there might be some delays in receiving the reports to email. By keeping the computer online while recording sessions, you will ensure that the data is sent to the server right after the session and the reports are sent to your email without any long delays.
Keeping the computer and the Sports Monitor software up-to-date, and the measurement devices in good condition, will go a long way. If you notice any strange activity with the Sports Monitor or the hardware, let Firstbeat Support know. We hope you enjoy using the Sports Monitor software and all its great features!