“Leagues and associations have a huge edge in adopting data solutions”
In the first two parts of our interview with Track160’s analysts, we spoke to Roy, Geva, Daniel, and Maor. The four football fanatics shared the route they took to the company, what they do in the organization and what makes them an important part of improving the product. They also spoke about the unique difficulties of working in analytics in a sub-elite football country. Here is the final part of that conversation, where we spoke about integrating data solutions into leagues, associations, and clubs, and how they in turn help individual players.
“Our solution is a real game-changer for the sub-elite level”
We spoke about the advantages that solutions like the one Track160 developed have. Let’s talk about the users. What clubs, academies, and leagues will the system be a game-changer for?
"Sub-elite teams,” Maor answered immediately. “Clubs that don’t employ an analyst, or who have only one and want to improve the dissection process and make it more efficient. Our system does all the work, from A to Z, and it’s simple enough that a coach can use it intuitively. It’ll be very helpful for teams that don’t have a solution or an analyst but can also just save a trained analyst time.”
"Our system does all the work, from A to Z" (Maor)
A concern that keeps coming up in our internal conversations is the issue of intuitiveness. In other words, to continue Maor’s answer: Do you honestly believe that coaches with no technological background can learn to use the system?
“Some people are so averse to technology they can’t even open Facebook, or they just don’t want to. Yes, there’s an obstacle here,” Geva says, “but it really is a fundamentally simple system. Once you meet someone who isn’t some extreme technophobe, even my grandmother can use the product.”
"Leagues can also leverage data for commercial purposes”
In addition to clubs, what other users would find Track160 relevant?
“Leagues and associations have a huge edge in adopting a solution like ours, and data solutions in general”, says Daniel.” They can implement the systems in every stadium and find high-level patterns, for both clubs and national teams. When they have coherent data, they can make different rankings of how individual players perform, for both benchmarks and research.
“There’s also the commercial aspect of data - spreading data on social media, creating a conversation about more advanced statistics. There’s a new type of football fan in this age - those constantly on the hunt for newer and better metrics.”
“Leagues and associations have a huge edge in adopting a solution like ours" (Daniel)
The data revolution doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. The next wave of people using it seem to be the stars of the show - the players. Kevin De Bruyne recently got a huge deal through presenting data in negotiations, and Memphis Depay and Frenkie De Jong used data to find a new club. Will we see a similar trend in players as we see on the macro level, of amateur level players adopting and leveraging data for the same purposes elite ones do?
“Personalized data and videos are an incredible tool for developing young players”
We asked our analysts if they thought young players and their parents would embrace the opportunity to get personalized clips and statistics directly to their phones in order to improve their capabilities, share clips on social media or family groups, and engage with agents and scouts.
All four nodded. Geva reiterated the importance of coaching through video. “I can say I’ve done personal practice sessions with players, and I remember one incident where a player asked me to record a certain move to send to his mother. When I watched the video I realized that adding video to the process has strength.
The video analysis section in Track160's platform allows creating automated personalized videos
“We started to put my iPhone on an improvised tripod and record all of the training we did. Whenever the kid did something not quite as I wanted, I could show him the video immediately. It’s an incredible tool and I can vouch for how much faster the player’s improvement was from that point on.
“Kids specifically don’t always pay full attention,” he continues. “Mostly you’ll tell him, ‘you did so and so and you shouldn’t have, and he won’t know what you meant. He’ll say ‘yes’ because he wants to keep playing or because he’s worn out, but he won’t get to the bottom of it. When you can physically show him what happened and say, ‘see your leg here? That was the wrong movement’, it’s different.”
"Young players having their own data doesn't undermine the coach"
Aren’t you undermining the coach, though?
“It depends on how you do it,” Daniel says. “I’m a personal analyst for two players right now, and my work with them doesn’t undermine the coach. Quite to the contrary, in fact. I talk to the coach, ask him what his demands are of the kid and I work with videos from the kid’s games as well as my own. I don’t do things on my own. Everything is in the context of the player’s team, and then the player himself.”
Our analysts are a key part of how Track160 functions. The platform itself is automated, but it is based on the insights and knowledge of experienced people. It seems counterintuitive, but a future in analytics doesn’t need to be on the pitch, with a club. Any good football enterprise will need people who understand the numbers behind the game. That’s all part of the data revolution.
- From football addicts to analysts in a sports tech company: Meet Track160's analysis team - "Our big contribution is seeing the product from the coach's point of view" - Part 2 - "We’re heading to a place where data and videos will be used directly by players and parents" - “Clubs are hesitant to integrate technological solutions due to conservatism and fear of progress"