NHL, university coaches leverage real-time video on new iPad system


Coaches for the National Hockey League and other college and professional-level sports teams are realizing a huge opportunity with real-time video through a new tablet-based system.

The myplayXplay technology lets coaches view live video streams on an iPad so that they can better teach players during practice or even a game. Coaches can also share the video via email, Dropbox or Facebook directly from their iPad.

As a coach, Im always looking for ways to help improve what we do and what I do specifically in helping our athletes, said David Manning, assistant athletic director of St. Andrew’s College, Ontario, Canada. And video was something we had used previously, we still do obviously, but trying to make it as most useful of my time and useful to the kids was a way that we could definitely improve upon.

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I think myplayXplay in terms of the instantaneousness of the product allows me to take video to the next level, he said. Players are coming to the bench during the game and are able to get coached. Its taken the ability to use video and made it instantaneous.

Its been a really good learning tool for players and a good way to learn about what were seeing in the game in real time.

Play by play
In addition to St. Andrews College Hockey team, others that are testing this new real-time video technology include the National Hockey League, the Irish Rugby Football Union, Ontario Junior A Hockey League, Eastern Junior Hockey League, Midwest Prep Hockey League and premiere soccer teams in Europe.

Not only can coaches view real-time video from myplayXplay, but they can also show footage to players, pause it and telestrate right on the iPad. Additionally, multiple coaches can access the video on different iPads at the same time.

Coaches can also tag different 20-second clips in the moment so that players can review the videos after games and practices. The coaches can also add comments to the clips.

Coaches and players can filter through these clips by tag name, player number, period of play, special teams and other classifications.

MyplayXplay can use video from a broadcasters camera or even from consumer-grade cameras.

Mobile improvement
Coaches such as Mr. Manning have long been leveraging video to help players improve, but with the help of mobile technology, they can now do so instantaneously.

This means that players and coaches will be able to address mistakes as well as positive examples in the moment, allowing for better recall and easier understanding.

For obvious reasons, when youre able to address something thats happening in the moment its going to be fresher and the ability to have recall is going to be right away, Mr. Manning said. We did that as coaches anyhow.

When players come off the ice were able to chat with them, but when youre able to recall visually what youre talking about its easier for players to learn, he said. When youre able to show them on video and say try this, try that or what were you thinking about there, it helps you address the situation right away.

Coaches can use myplayXplayat practices, home games and away games. Instead of having to wait until getting to the locker room to watch videos of games, coaches can access the footage during the game itself to make improvements in real-time.

The tablet is so easy for coaches to hold and manipulate, and it is large enough to see the broadcast stream easily, that it is a logical choice and perfect option for this application, said Fred Rossi, CEO of myplayXplay, Ontario, Canada. A TV is too large for the bench and a laptop is too cumbersome. The tablet is the ideal device for video review.

MyplayXplay is much superior to current technologies because it operates in real-time with no lag, as opposed to the static desk-based systems hardwired to the sideline areas of a sports arena, he said. Solutions are complicated and take specially trained video technicians hours and sometimes days to send clips to players, coaches or other staff.

Video in sports has been an important tool for many years in preparing for matches. We now take that experience out of the video closet and into the coaches hands on the bench when it can matter most. MyplayXplay allows coaches to instantly review plays and make tactical changes during the game, when it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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