SiliconCoach

Posted: October 12, 2015 in Tech in coaching

Siliconcoach Pro 8

Siliconcoach is a New Zealand example of excellence in technology in sport. A real forerunner of video analysis the company was founded in 1997, and is still based in NZ. They have a very wide scope for their products including rehabilitation, PE teachers biomechanics analysis, bike fitting and gait analysis as well as traditional video analysis.

They have recently announced that Siliconcoach Pro 8 is shortly to be released with some exciting new features. In particular I enjoy the ability of the programme to take video from every source and easily upload it to a central web page for analysis. This addresses one of the key issues that many people have of reliance on a certain platform, with Siliconcoach you are able to use an Android, IOS as well as video cameras, GoPros even a still camera with video capability. This video footage can then be uploaded to a central web page for analysis and easily shared within your ‘zone’.

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A zone is simply your domain for sharing your analysis video with your team or athletes. As you can see from the diagram you have the ability to open your analysis up to as many or as few of your athletes as you would like. This can be very useful for a team discussion or perhaps one on one feedback with certain athletes.

Athletes and Coaches can then contribute to an online discussion around this analysis. This creates a situation in which a video is being used as the basis for discussion and can be massively valuable. It is often easier to illustrate to players your frustration as a coach by this use of video, this will give your athletes a new appreciation of the game.

It also fits really well with the NZ coach approach as players can make their own analysis in a process of guided discovery instead of the coach being the all knowing oracle!

As well as the online capabilities of Siliconcoach live and the ability to begin an in-depth analysis session via an online forum there is also improved video analysis tools in the Pro 8 version. For clarity these two products are designed to be used side by side, using the pro tools to do some in- depth analysis which can then be viewed when you are physically with your athletes or uploaded into the cloud capabilities of SC Live. Pro8 can capture HD video which means you have top quality video on which to base your analysis. Depending on the hardware capabilities of your computer you will also be able to import dual HD feeds giving you the ability to analyse from different viewpoints.

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Coupled with some very advanced measurement tools that give you the ability to measure distances and angles on your video and drawing tools to illustrate your analysis to your athletes this creates a very powerful tool indeed. The ability to move the video on Frame by Frame means that it is easy to isolate deviations form the perfect technique, particularly when synched and viewed alongside a perfect model . This ability to compare videos also means that you are able to illustrate to your athletes progressions they have made by using an earlier video with the present day one. This can be a massive motivation for all athletes.

A new feature in Siliconcoach Pro 8 is the incorporation of the Time warp feature into the programme. Previously this was a separate feature but it is now incorporated into the programme. This gives you the ability to delay a video feed for a specified amount of time meaning an athlete can perform a skill and then come and review that skill alongside you.

As well as these features you have the security of an active support forum with the ability to make contact to somebody in New Zealand to offer help in ensuring you get the best use of the product. For any further information about Siliconcoach Pro 8 you should contact Graeme Burborough graeme@siliconcoach.com who will be able to discuss your individual needs.

This is certainly a product that I use both within my school teaching, it is particularly useful for NCEA Physical Education, and in my coaching. Timewarp was actually the first time in a coaching session that I used the tool of video directly with my athletes, and I still believe this is a massively powerful tool and one that every coach should be comfortable in using.

Jim Dickin
@tech4coaching

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