University of Birmingham Hockey

Exploiting technology to drive team development

The University of Birmingham women’s hockey side are current BUCS champions and have in fact won it for four consecutive years. The team also compete against the top talent on weekends in the Investec Premier League.

Selection for the England International side was made this week and Birmingham are represented with the inclusions of current students Lily Owsley, Livy Paige and Erica Sanders plus five alumni in Sophie Bray, Emily Defroand, Sarah Haycroft, Hannah Martin and Anna Toman.

Player turnover is part and parcel of the University’s makeup as a side but the one constant through the club’s success has been that of their coach Phil Gooderham who took over in the early 2000s.

This current week the team has just beaten fellow elite sporting university Loughborough University 3-0 and continue to go from strength to strength.

Coach Logic has been a tremendous asset and has the potential to be an even more powerful tool in the future.

Phil Gooderham
Director of Hockey, UOBHC

Phil Gooderham who has also coached Wales alongside Birmingham University stated that “Coach Logic has been a tremendous asset and has the potential to be an even more powerful tool in the future.”

Birmingham University women’s team have been using the technology now for four years, although as the coach points out, in the early days this was simply a case of putting a video of a match on the web for the players to watch.

Coach Logic is now a familiar bit of software for the University Women’s squad, with players having access to clipped videos that they can play via their mobile phones, wherever they are in the world. For a team that has a current number of international players, this is a vital tool in creating squad cohesiveness.

“Over the next few weeks we will be using Coach Logic more for one-to-one feedback.” Says Gooderham. “We will be able to have conversations via the app, so we can go out to an individual and say: ‘This is what we think about a certain situation, what do you think?’ Because people are a lot more remote these days, we are able to contact the players without them all coming into one place.

The team plan to create specific groups for feedback – the penalty corner attack team, for example – as well as using footage from previous encounters to counter opponents. “This is an area we are really going to explore,” says Gooderham. “We will identify things the opposition have done in the past and yes, they might change things, but we will have a greater knowledge and understanding of what they might do in certain situations and be able to counter that.”

An increasing number of clubs are using Coach Logic and, in turn, the company is listening to feedback to develop its offering to the sport. It is an approach that Gooderham appreciates: “They are so supportive, I like that. Andy [Muir] and Mark [Cairns] understand what we are trying to achieve and they will always work with us to get there. They have definitely created Coach Logic to really benefit hockey over the years and they have created a hugely important coaching tool. I don’t think we are anywhere near using it to its full potential – but we are getting there.

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