Why is advanced technology useful in football?


Thanks to the use of these technologies in training players have the opportunity to eva-luate themselves and find out how to correct their errors in a question of minutes.

Advanced technology is a very wide concept. When talking about this subject in football the controversial subject of automated referee decisions comes to mind or the perfection of players preparation. This last option is highly ac-cepted within the king of sports.

But… What use can advanced technologies have in football training?

To understand it correctly, it’s helpful to divide it into two categories: sessions on the grass and sessions off it.

The first is based on, mostly, dead ball situations. “These types of plays are the ones that provide the clearest data and can directly benefit a performan-ce on the pitch”, states Franco Sanchírico, head of the department of advan-ced technology at Marcet. Free-kicks, corners and penalties have a huge im-portance in football when looking at the data. According to official FIFA data, almost a quarter of the goals scored at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil resulted from a dead ball position.

“Each player should be trained individually in order to perfect their techni-que and decision making”, Sanchírico explains. “They typically work with two coaches. One alongside the player whilst taking the kicks, giving them advice, explaining concepts and accumulating part of the data. The other focuses on managing the registering devices (Smart Ball, cameras, meters, etc.), collecting all of the data and, whilst on the pitch, spends time analysing the kicks with the player and points out ways of improving for the next round of kicks”, he adds.

The biggest advantage of these types of training sessions is that the player himself has the opportunity to evaluate his own attempts. They can see their errors and find out how to correct them in a matter of minutes.

“These sessions are great for goalkeepers”, claims Imanol Castilla, goalkee-ping analyst at Marcet. “We give all of the kids the best tools in order for them to have the ultimate resources so that they can solve specific game si-tuations”.

On pitch analysis goes beyond technique. According to Marcet’s experts, they also work on psychological aspects that help control a dead ball situation and the tactical side, that refers to – between other things – the correct positioning of all players and the anticipation of all the variants that can be produced from the situation in question.

However, not everything is done in the moment. It’s always good to take a breather and analyse things after. For this they use, primarily, video analysis. While technique can seem relatively simple (film the matches then work on the situations in training), the science behind this approach is more complex. “The goal is for the player to understand the game from a global point of view and his connection with respect to the circumstances of each moment during a game”, sums up Sanchírico. The Department of Advanced Technology at Marcet employs around 10 analysts that are dedicated full time to their work.

It’s pointless in knowing, for example, the power of a shot or the reaction speed if there isn’t anything to compare it with when putting all of the infor-mation into context. Dozens of hours are dedicated in the collection of ne-cessary statistics from high level competitions. Here lies the secret to great analysis, whether it be on the pitch or off it.

Thanks to these circumstances, a player can clarify not only the things that they should improve on and prioritise, but can also knows key aspects of their opponents. Whether it be from the point of view of an outfield player or a goalkeeper, knowing – for example – the area of the goal where most goals are scored from a free-kick in relation with the distance, angle and position of the wall, can turn into a key advantage. And this can make the difference bet-ween winning or losing a championship.

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