6 technologies that’ll take your Hockey team from good to great
Are you a hockey coach turning to tech to get the very best from your team? Want to improve your players’ strategic knowledge, communication and technique but unsure of what tools are out there that are affordable or effective? Look no further, we’ve done the research for you and list our top 6 hockey technologies that’ll make sure your team has that extra edge the next time they’re on the field.
1. Coach’s Eye (Free – £12.99+)
An affordable mobile app that gives you easy and convenient access to match or training footage and can be used on any Apple and Android device. It’s ideal for practicing penalty corners as it provides instant feedback and slow-motion replay in high definition.
The basic app can be downloaded for free giving you basic playback, while the subscribed functionality provides access to powerful Drawing Tools and features like coach integration. Drawing Tools allow you to identify potential technical weaknesses and offers detailed biomechanics analysis while the video itself provides context to their explanation.
Videos from other recording devices such as GoPro can be imported instantly and then edited with drawing tools. It’s perfect for short clips of 30 seconds or less and suitable for match highlights too. An added benefit of the recorded video is that it can be viewed by player and coach alike in their own time, on or offline.
The free option is perfectly accessible for the everyday hockey player, but for drawing tools have to be purchased on a package costing from £12.99.
2. PlayerTek (£230+)
The World’s first GPS tracker was initially designed for football players but is set to be rolled out for hockey in the near future. A pod with the latest high precision sensors and GPS technology is worn on the back of your player’s shirt. It aids player empowerment by allowing individuals to track their own physical and movement stats from a game or training session. The football version even allows direct comparisons against Premier League players.
PlayerTek can measure everything from speed to power whilst using 10 different metrics. It lets players take ownership of their training by encouraging them to work closely with coaches and fitness trainers to improve their physical stats over the course of a season. Neat tools such as heat maps make the statistical output easily understood. A 2-year subscription can be purchased for £325.
3. Coach Logic (Free – £2.10+ per user per month)
An easy-to-use online video feedback and communication platform, Coach Logic allows you and your players to upload, review and discuss match video as well as manage all aspects of your team – from player availability and fitness objectives to sharing resources and more.
Its core features include the ability to streamline video feedback. You can upload, analyse, view and discuss limitless match and training videos to build a valuable bank of information on players and your team as a whole.
The platform lets you manage your team more easily by organising key aspects of Hockey coaching from one place. It also fosters better team communication making it easier for coaches and players to engage with each other about the game and performance.
In fact, the FIH Academy has just signed an exclusive partnership with Coach Logic in a bid to increase professionalism across all levels of the sport. This initiative is built around the Hockey Revolution, FIH’s 10-year strategy involving major initiatives to raise the level of the sport and to create a game that inspires the next generation.
4. Sport AV (Cost is product dependent)
So far a lot of focus has been on video platforms and filming equipment but to get proper footage worth analysing, getting an elevated viewpoint for a camera is essential. Sport AV are global suppliers of sport masts that allow elevated filming. Their pioneer product is an aluminium Sports Mast with integrated weatherproof and portable technologies that shoot up into the air. Although the company can provide cameras, your own cameras can be attached and used as well. The camera can either capture live footage or be uploaded to another system. They even have a mast that can be raised and then film from seventeen metres. In April 2016, the FIH purchased a 17m mast that will be used to film matches taking place at the Rio Olympics.
5. GoPro (£150+)
One of the most well known brands of action camera is now being put to the test in traditional sports. GoPros are being used in both professional and amateur hockey by goalkeepers where the camera in worn in the player’s helmet. This allows an on-pitch view of where space is and where the players are lined up.
The cameras are also being used by outfield players for a point-of-view review of their dribbling. Stick play can be filmed and analysed proving especially popular for youth players and coaching where emphasis is on number of touches a player makes during a session. Check out a great example of this here.
6. Soloshot (£350+)
Soloshot describes itself as ‘your personal robot cameraman’. This recording device works by attaching a Tag to your player which is picked up by the camera and films and tracks that player from distances of up to 2,000ft.
The footage can be uploaded to various devices or platforms then sent to you, other coaches or, better still, analysed by your players where they can identify possible improvements for themselves, building their problem solving, strategic and tactical skills.
The camera is perfect for all-action hockey style training as it automatically pans, tilts and zooms to keep the player in the shot.
There’s never been a better time to invest in technology to help take your team to the top. It’s now easier than ever to access to high quality recording applications and equipment and as video analysis and feedback platforms become more sophisticated, you can empower your hockey team with more effective learning tools, deeper insight into play and technique and even foster better team communication through collaborative learning. So dare to digitise. Tech that drives better teamwork or even individual split second player decisions could make all the difference between winning and losing!