Squad news

THE TECHNOLOGY AT DEPORTIVO

25 Nov 2009
Starting on this season, Lotina is using live cameras to get a larger view of the matches, just as the NFL teams do in order to study their next moves. Depor’s coach uses an average of twenty actions captured on video during the games.

The technology can’t score the goals, but it helps to win the matches. Starting no this season Deportivo is using a computer program that helps to take decisions in real time, just like the NFL teams do in the United States. The program is called NAC Sport Elite RT and is very popular among other clubs like Valencia, Villarreal, Zaragoza, Espanyol and Sunday’s rival Racing Santander.

But the difference is that those teams use the generated information after the matches, while Deportivo adapted the program to use it during the games. The key person for this is Juan José Vila, a coach with a UEFA license that was hired in order to help Lotina and his assistant, José Luis Ribera, to take decisions based in live information.

What the program does is to process the images generated by a TV camera from a global point of view, then the information is passed to the personal computer of Vila, who later passes the images to Ribera’s laptop. Newspaper La Opinión A Coruña wrote an article about this matter and explained the three steps in the process:

1- Uptake: Juan José Vila attends to all the matches and sits in a strategic position at the stands (in the same line that divides midfield); from there he captures the images through a TV camera, later the information is processed by a laptop and using the NAC Sport program. The secret is that it captures large-scale plans, usually from goal to goal, in this way the images show the positioning of the 22 players on the pitch.

“The images that you watch on TV always search the ball, everything is more limited. We, in the other hand, search the composition of the lines, not the ball. That’s the big difference. What we want is to control the whole team.” Vila explained to La Opinión.

2- Analysis and editing: Ribera and Vila are in touch during the matches thanks to an electronic device. As soon as Lotina asks for the image of a determined play (in average he asks for 20 sequences per match), then Vila backs the recording on his laptop. He analyses the sequence and makes the final edition that’s sent to the coaches on the pitch. The key here is that Vila is a coach and knows what his colleagues are asking to him. “I am not a technology expert, but as soon as they ask me something, I already know what they want, because I lived those things on the pitch and make the connection to what they are asking.”

3- Transfer of information: Ribera’s has a laptop at Depor’s bench, which is connected with the computer of Vila through a Wifi code line. The images arrive in a matter of seconds and then both coaches can take decisions according to what they see.  The information helps Lotina to correct errors at half-time and even at the moment that the matches are played.

“What we pretend is to give to the coach another visual perception of what is happening on the pitch. We want to give to him the whole information, so he can handle it. The goal is to correct errors and maximize the stronger points.” Vila explained.

The job of Vila doesn’t end there, because after the games he prepares a resume that usually contains between 120 and 150 sequences taped during the encounters. Those images are used between Monday and Wednesday during the video session that Lotina has with his players. Sometimes Lotina asks for detailed information, like all the defensive actions of a certain player during the whole season. Then Vila makes a special video with all the requested plays. This is possible, because the NAC Sport program allows storing a catalogue in the computer.

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/09

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