The Sydney Swans
The investment four years ago from an antiquated digital system to Sportstec's sophisticated provider of sport's training technology has revolutionised how the Sydney Swans Football Club operates.
The Australian AFL club has moved from an old version digital system that only had the capacity to store one game at a time to SportsCode which offers a revolutionary range of video analysis systems.
"We've gone from being able to have one video (one digital capture) of the game to now having three seasons on computer,'' Swans technology manager Anthony Cahill said.
Cahill, who has been with the Swans since 2000, has experienced both the old and new in sports technology and said the differences are light years apart when comparing the versions.
SportsCode can look at a number of games for analysis purposes and is readily accepted by the players as a user-friendly tool.
"They can easily click on different components of a game they want to view for analysis purposes and are more than responsive about the technology,'' Cahill said. They now want it and almost demand it. It's very handson and it's used extensively as an educational tool by the coaches.''
The coaching staff at the Swans includes a head coach and three assistant coaches with each of the 45 players being allocated to a coach for one-on-one meetings. Those meetings include the coach bringing up the individual player's game on the computer and the pair will go through a detailed process of performance.
There are also group meetings with the same emphasis and full scale team debriefs.
In today's age of professional sport where the margins between winning and losing are often very fine, Cahill said the use of technology is playing an increasingly important role.
"With elite athletes these days so finely tuned you can't over-train them so a lot of your tactical stuff has to be done another way. You can't do it out on the field, you have to reinforce it, educate and coach them using other means,'' he said.
"The predominant way is using digital video technology or any sort of video technology. But naturally, the greatest benefit you can have is by putting it on computer and just having the ability to slice it up and cut it up and create presentations and being able to access it throughout the year. "It is a vital training tool and I don't think you could go without it now.''
With the multi-functional facets of the SportsCode program, the Swans are able to cover any number of activities via the screen, including refining tactics, analysing opponents, analysing their own individual and team performances, analyse training techniques and strategies, fitness testing, biomechanical analysis, injury rehabilitation analysis and player recruitment. All the club's recruiting managers have got the SportsCode system and they file through hours of recruiting vision to be analysed.
Cahill likes the simple interface offered by SportsCode and said when the Swans were looking to upgrade four years ago it was "by far the best'' on offer. "We made a big decision then and quite an expensive investment and we've stuck with it because we've felt that Sportstec have been good in upgrading and continuing to improve their product,'' he said.
"Just the ease of use and the flexibility of the program was the thing that drew me, it still does and I still find it easy to use, the coaches find it easy to use and the players find it easy to use. The visual aspect is also better than other programs.''