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There’s a revolution happening in sports coaching; it’s immediate, digital and comfortable with AI
May 10th 2022
Ebba Nelligan

As technology continues to fuel the rapid disruption and growth of the professional sports industry, it’s more critical than ever that grassroots sports are not left behind. The FA’s 2021 Report on the social and economic value of grassroots soccer in England paints a clear picture of how vital grassroots are to the livelihood of individuals, communities, and nations. 

Today, advanced video and analysis tools for player development are one area of technology that has been made more accessible to thousands of teams and organisations across the world. But it’s vital that new developments and innovations continue to be made accessible and in line with the needs of the people who use them.

Veo conducted a survey to explore the behaviours of over 260 coaches, athletic directors and parents across schools, clubs and organisations in the US who are currently using AI-enabled video and data analysis as part of their armour. The first part of the study reveals how the technological foundation now in place to record and analyse performance has provided enormous benefits to the industry, but has also accelerated the need for more immediate and instant access to these tools.

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Ease of use  

97% of users in the study identified ‘ease of recording’ as the main benefit of today’s available technology, with the AI-based camera removing the pain of operating the camera and being able to follow the action well enough to produce a high-quality video. Portability of the camera was also high on the list of beneficial features (78%), enabling ease and convenience when capturing games or training sessions.

Dynamic learning

What’s also evident is that the technology is not only making the ability to record easier, it’s making communication between coaches, players and scouts more engaging and impactful. Respondents ranked ‘online video editing and analysis’ (79%) and ‘highlights, comments and player tagging’ (74%) as key benefits. The power to play with video and data creates a dynamic learning experience that is more intuitive, personalised and relevant for a new generation of players.

Unmissable highlights

The ability to ‘access to 180-degree recording’ (71%) and have video storage in the cloud (73%) were also noteworthy benefits. This means that even after the camera captures the game, users can still track individual players or incidents that a regular camera might not have captured in real-time. So, if coaches, players or parents want to direct their own highlights later for coaching or recruitment videos, they are empowered to do so. Storing this footage in the cloud also ensures that no highlights are lost, and backups are readily available.


With the technological foundation now in place, what kind of new developments and capabilities are organisations craving when it comes to enhancing player and team performance? It seems the natural side effect of becoming accustomed to any kind of new technology in our lives is the increased expectation and need for immediacy. The trend here is no different, with users indicating a clear demand for instant access and tools to enhance player and team development. In fact, 88% of respondents said they were ‘interested in being able to live-stream their matches’, while only 2% claimed they were ‘not interested’.

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Live streaming would be a huge step in the advancement of technology at a grassroots level. Gaining instant access to video and data will profoundly impact the way teams train, play and perform. Professional teams acclimatised to the immediacy of these tools continue to invest heavily in their newfound power. Manchester City made their intent clear when they hired an astrophysicist to head up their data analyst team earlier this year. While these investments are clearly at another level, having access to immediate tools will provide coaches, players and parents, and fans at every level with a new experience.

The coach’s experience

The power for coaches when it comes to live-streaming and instant access lies in the ability to review plays during and directly after the match – with more than half (54%) of the respondents claiming this would provide the most value to their organisation.

Instant access and immediate tools allow coaches to make more informed tactical decisions in-game. It can help identify which players are performing well, how an opponent is exposing weaknesses in a team’s formation – or maybe it’s just a great way to show your team at half-time how that corner kick routine you’ve been working on all week finally paid off. 

Instant access and video playback would also provide coaching teams with increased flexibility post-game. On a long bus ride home, coaches will be able to watch highlights and get a head start on their analysis. Naturally, these same features translate into training, with assistants being able to analyse drills during or immediately after their sessions. Immediacy will provide coaches with the freedom to analyse video whenever and wherever they want, giving them more time to focus on coaching.

The player experience  

Video is a particularly powerful tool for player development as players are visual learners and can process information better when it’s presented in line with their preferred learning style. The next generation of players is pre-programmed to expect immediacy when it comes to information, entertainment and feedback.

A photo of a football match in progress, captured with a Veo sports camera and set up on a tripod. The image showcases the Veo camera's ability to record and provide high-quality footage of the game.

Players can better learn how to adapt in-game with real-time feedback, but perhaps nothing will be as important to them as the ability to share their highlights immediately after the game. Imagine you just scored a worldy. Just like the pros, players will be able to share these moments directly after the game on social media with their followers.

Also notable was how the potential of live streaming would impact player recruitment, with 43% of users believing it would ‘help attract/recruit players’. Players are not only hungry for this kind of immediacy, but scouts and recruiters will find more opportunities to discover ‘hidden talent’ as they can follow games remotely instead of having to travel long distances every time they want to see a player in action – saving them an enormous amount of time and money. This will truly be a game-changer.

The parent/fan experience

It’s clear that live-streaming promises to give players and coaches access to a whole new set of tools to elevate their performance. But when presented with the possibility of being able to live-stream their games – a thought that seemed like a distant future not long ago – an overwhelming 97% of current users stated ‘the ability for fans, friends and family to be able to watch the game from anywhere’ as the greatest potential value to their organisation.  

Should it be surprising that the most exciting potential of live streaming for grassroots organisations has to do with its fans? Live streaming is the cornerstone of today’s fan experience at a professional level – and innovative clubs like Inter Miami CF are already realising their future by integrating elements of interactivity into the viewing experience to attract and engage the next generation. 

While grassroots organisations may not cater to large fan bases like professional clubs, these insights put into perspective just how important supporters are to their communities. And it makes one wonder, with a live streaming future on the horizon, just how big of a role they might play in their future.

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