Technology changes the way we work

“If the competition has laptop computers and you’re still using yellow legal pads, it won’t matter how long and hard you work — they’re going to pass you.”

– Bill Parcells

The advances in the technology available to coaches today are mind blowing.  Just five years ago I remember being tethered to my office computer and only able to watch video if I was on the university’s network.  The process for our video staff to upload the film was a bit long and I would have to wait an hour to watch film. Now I can leave the office after practice and watch video on my laptop, iPad or iPhone within minutes of practice ending.

If only there were a way to break down film automatically.  The long Sunday’s of film break down leave you mentally exhausted with strained eyes from watching and breaking down hours of film.  Well, those days may soon be over.  It looks like the technology to automate film breakdown and analysis is on the horizon.

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I found an interesting prototype developed by a team of mat and computer science researchers at the University of Illinois-Champaign.  Their software called Autoscout detects player jersey numbers, tracks player movement, and ultimately labels plays.  Currently, they are able to do this with 80% accuracy.  I am sure they will continue to develop their software to the point where it is 99% accurate.  At 80% accuracy, even the hardest working graduate assistant would lose his job!

Here is the link to the video of the conference at MIT as well as a link to their powerpoint.

While these advances are not here yet, I have found two great tools which promise to make us more effective and efficient coaches.  The first tool takes away the tedious, but necessary work of drawing scout cards.  Football Play Card is the app I have been searching for for years.  The bottom line is you can save an hour and a half a day using this software, allowing you more time for analysis, direct work with players, and more time with your family at the end of the day. Checkout more advantages here.

The second tool provides our players with more learning opportunities than we can provide on the field while keeping them safe from contact and collision. It uses a technology that is used to train surgeons and fighter pilots – virtual reality.  It’s packaged affordably for the high school level.  The possibilities with this are huge.  Players play faster when they understand and recognize, and this training platform works to accomplish just that.  EON Sports Virtual Reality has developed training software that brings a Madden-like atmosphere to life with 3D virtual reality.  Your player can put the headgear on and turn his head viewing the field and the play as if he was right in the game.  Research shows that people remember more by doing as opposed to simply watching something.  You as a coach should watch game film, but ask yourself, “Are my kids learning anything from the hours of gamefilm they watch?” Film is good.  Overdose of film isn’t.  Herman Ebbinghaus studied learning and found a direct correlation to repetition based on active recall (repetition).  unfortunately, we have a limited number of reps in practice, and team periods don’t always allow for us to get our back-ups proper repetition.  Additional repetition can be provided through the virtual reality technology in EON’s software called Sidekiq.


Check out these innovative tools.  I will share more innovations soon.

My books are on the cutting edge of presenting football knowledge.  They are packed with interactive presentations and video.  Get them for your iPad or mac here:

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays

The Zone Offense:  Create a Structured System



One thought on “Technology changes the way we work

  1. Great stuff as always. We can personally attest to this inclusion of technology as our program and record as made great strides over the past 2 seasons since have begun using 10 inch tablets on the field during practice over the pass few seasons to give immediate visual feedback to our players for the run game and similarly to our defense for their key recognition of reads. In addition to this, this pass fall we had installed facemask cameras with mics and coms on our QBs and S & MLB helmets for audio-visual feedback after practice for, as example, our QB to evaluate/review his read of the defenses (blitz and coverage) and recognizing maybe miss reads (even on the read run game). Its all about showing them, not just telling them in today’s game.

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